Welcome to Ictinike!


Ictinike ...

Ictinike is the trickster spirit of the Omaha Sioux (those links are slow). In some stories he appears to mortals as a spider. When I was choosing a domain name, juxtaposing a spider figure and the (World Wide) Web was an appealing, though trite, idea. More compelling was my desire to use a trickster figure. Because I live where I do, I decided to concentrate on native American myths. Wolf and Coyote are the most common Amerindian tricksters in the southwest, but they were taken, as was Inktomi and its variant Iktomi. But Ictinike was available. So I grabbed it.

... the Trickster ...

The Trickster, both as a figure of myth and as a role in society, has permeated human cultures world-wide from the dawn of history (and doubtless before) through to today. He walks among us in many forms: Comic, teacher, doctor; con man, priest, politician; artist, journalist, photographer. Always, though, the field of play is the boundary between what is, and what we believe. We see neither the world nor ourselves with clarity. And it's a damn good thing, too.

The subject is the world and ourselves, and the Trickster is both teacher and bad student, giving us the lesson and serving as the bad example that also instructs.

... and Photography

I mean this site to emphasize the presentation of photographs and their stories. I think photography is compelling, when it is, in part because still pictures, limited by their borders and the depth of focus (and the limits of the photographer's vision), imitate our visual memory. We remember in flashes of limited detail, circumscribed in time and space. Looking at a photograph is like contemplating a memory at length.

The best photography tricks you into sharing a bit of the photographer's view of reality, using your own experiences as raw material. You entangle yourself in the picture. Like the Trickster, the photograph and its maker stand between reality and you, guiding or misdirecting, revealing or concealing, but never showing you everything.

If you view some of the pictures here, remember to wonder what's outside the borders, notice how the picture's limits allow you to deceive yourself, and ask what the trickster is saying to you thereby. And remember to enjoy the pictures.

Quick Links
Tim's Space
Cynthia's Space
Gallery


cnk@ugcs.caltech.edu