I first met torbakhopper in college back in the years before the internet. I was a writer, kind of, and the editor for our college newspaper. torbakhopper was this super creative type who hung out with all the other cool kids I knew, you know, the English major types. With a bit of prodding, our Art’s Section Editor Rudi was able to get him to phone in movie reviews. They were brilliant.
I still remember his voice on the answering machine with his review of the film Apartment Zero:
"The film picks up speed when border, Jack Carnie, played with alluring devotion by Hart Boschner, arrives out of nowhere claiming to be ‘whatever you want me to be,’ and then doing so with shocking viability. Thus begins a journey that is far above the standards of modern suspense and indeed strives to outdo any notion character intrigues set before.
So, if lines such as "I’ll clean the carpet, I promise, " or "you’re not going to let this spoil our relationship are you Adrian? " sound funny without belaboring the context, then this is most decidedly a film that you will regret missing."
After college when I moved to San Francisco in the early nineties for graduate school torbakhopper and I spent a few beautiful years running around the City as carefree as recent college grads can be. No real concerns except what kind of fun can be created today. And we had a lot of that. More than anyone he shared my love and appreciation for all the little ironies, inconsistencies and absurdities that life is full of.
But like all good things, those precious years were by nature temporary. You can’t be a kid fresh out of college forever (or can you). People grow up, move on, get jobs, go to more school, start relationships, end relationships, get married, have kids, and the like.
And then every so often things come back around again for a while. Technology has been helpful for me with that. I still live in San Francisco but torbakhopper is down in Santa Barbara. A place I simply must visit more. But things like Flickr help people share and communicate — even if not in the most personal and direct of ways. I love the technology for this.
torbakhopper has a zeal for life that is rare. Aware of all that is bad in the world he is able to address that but at the same time focus on all that is also good and right and beautiful, or as more eloquently put by him, "my goal over the past year has been to return to a state of patience without desire and expectation."
A few weeks back torbakhopper came to San Francisco and we were able to have lunch and spend the afternoon running around shooting the City. It was a really great time. He’s also painted a few of my photographs and is working on another right now. I’m totally blown away and honored. And I love that a tool like flickr can act as the medium for us to share. I really wish I could paint, but I cant’. I can shoot, but I can’t paint. To see something that I’ve created remixed and recreated by someone else is a great joy of life.