The genesis of Churches ad hoc was the photograph I made of a cross that seemed to rise up out of a tree. The cross, located in a park overlooking Eugene, Oregon, created a controversy regarding the separation of church and state. Proponents of the cross called it a war memorial. Others saw it as a religious symbol. I titled the photograph "Propagation on the Mount". Thus began the series of captioned photographs with a cross as the unifying element. The series was first exhibited at the PhotoZone Gallery in Eugene.
Churches ad hoc was introduced on the Internet in 1996. Since then, references to it have appeared in a large number of Christian, as well as atheist, web sites. Each group seems to find a reflection of their own views in the captioned photographs. Excerpts from the series have appeared in places as diverse as the Internet edition of The New York Times, a Methodist church calendar, a rock band cassette cover, the religion pages of the Stockholm Svenska Dagbladet newspaper, and a Cornell Law School poster for a national conference on The Consitution and Religion: Theory and Practice.
I take photographs to amuse myself as well as the occasional spectator. Exhibiting photographs for mutual pleasure is similar to a comedian telling jokes to an appreciative audience. But comedy is more serious than photography.
Viewers who see more in my photographs than I do probably have better vision, and I welcome their compliments. Those who see less than I do may be right, and I remain partially open to their criticism.