Noah Kalina: The Guy Who Takes A Photo Of Himself + Bed Mounds

Our increasingly digital society paradoxically expands and shrinks the world all at once: it’s now far easier to connect with a stranger thousands of miles away, and it is also so clear how massive earth is and how many infinite lives and experiences we’ll never touch.

Coincidences are still surprising no matter how frequently they occur in this ever-expanding universe. Which is why we were surprised to learn that one of the photographers for the popular book Cabin Porn—of which a copy resides in each of our tiny cabins—is also the creator of the viral project Everyday, in which a young man takes a photo of himself every day for six years.

You may have seen this and even recognize this face:

The name to put to this face is Noah Kalina, and this face is often found behind the lens—he lives and works in New York City as a photographer. Noah recently came to one of our cabins as part of our Artist Fellowship program to create a piece of art he’s called ‘bed mounds;’ temporary sculptures made out of blankets, which are vaguely reminiscent of the European avant-garde Dada movement and readymade art. 

Photo by Noah Kalina

Photo by Noah Kalina

We chatted with Noah a bit to learn more about how he (doesn’t) keep balance in his life:

What occupies most of your time during the day?
My schedule is completely unpredictable so no two days are the same. I have a few normal routines like checking my email and trying to eat food at the normal times so I can appear to be a functioning human.  I like to make sure I attempt to make at least one photograph at some point during the day.

What occupies most of your time during the weekend?
My weekends are the same as weekdays. I don’t really operate on what would be considered a normal schedule. Holidays take me by surprise. What do you mean the post office isn’t open!?

Artist Noah Kalina

What do you wish you had more time to do?
I actually have plenty of time. What I wish I had was more money. It’s a catch 22!

What do you wish you did less of?
Agreeing to interviews. I always tell myself I am not going to do them and then I end up agreeing to them. They end up taking up way too much time and give me incredible anxiety.

*A note from team Getaway: we apologize for subjecting Noah to another interview.

 

What is your favorite non-digital activity?
I was just thinking how I actually still enjoy taking and making photographs. But I use a digital camera. Does that count? The act in and of itself is analog but the tool is digital. Is that a hybrid? If that doesn’t count I really enjoy walking around in vast secluded and empty spaces.

What is your favorite tech or app that helps you balance your life?

I actually don’t use any apps that help with my life. It has never really occurred to me that I should. Should I? What do you use? Why? Wait, isn’t that a hassle?

I actually don’t use any apps that help with my life. It has never really occurred to me that I should.

What would you pack in a suitcase if you had to live with only those items for the rest of your life?
I am going to assume that in this hypothetical situation something terrible has happened to the earth and all the skills that I possess will no longer be valid. So I am just going to pack a bunch of socks and underwear and see what happens next.

What do you think you’d be doing in a world without technology?
I think I would be a horse and buggy driver, a hole digger or possibly a flower farmer.

When and where are you happiest?
Lumberland, New York where my house is but only between late May and September.

How do you create balance in your life?
I don’t. It’s totally out of balance and I am completely uncomfortable every minute of the day but I don’t think I’d want it any other way.

How have your feelings evolved in regards to your Everyday project?
The mission of the project, to take a photo of myself every day until the day I die has remained the same. I still take a photo every day and I plan to do it until the day I die. What the project has become (YouTube, Museum shows) and what it has inspired has created a whole lot of feelings most of which are very complicated.  I’ll tell you about that in person around a fire.

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To follow Noah and his photography work, or to drop him a note about hanging out by a fire, you can visit his website and Instagram here