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Baku / Azerbaijan · 2018   skins of time

  

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   Azerbaijan’s identity remains unidentified. Influences prick from all sides at the continental crossroads. Diversity is a messy beauty.

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a glimpse

 

glimpse: MUD VOLCANO DEMEANOR | Unlike their lava-spewing and hot-tempered cousins, mud volcanoes have a pretty bubbly and cool demeanor. So cool even, they invite you in for a bath. If you want to hang out, you’ll find more than half of them in Azerbaijan, where nearly 400 gather for a true mud volcano fest. Just don’t meet them that one day they actually explode – unless you like barbecues with sky-high open flames.

prehistorc cave in Gobustan, Azerbaijan

 

glimpse: HOME SWEET HOME | Home sweet home, 40,000 years ago. Art and storytelling were born here, carved into our living rooms. We’ve come a long way since then, rocky too, and anything but linear. For the longest time, our house, dinner and gadgets were simply what was there; we reaped the land, nature’s gifts. Some 200,000 years of roaming and cave life. 15,000 years of agriculture, give or take. Our first cities popping up around 7,000 years ago. 1878, year of the light bulb; 1886, year of the car. 1900s: vacuum cleaner, A/C, first powered flight, plastic, coffee filter, crossword puzzles, bra, robots, insulin, frozen food, TV, electric guitar, pen, nuclear reactor, microwave, bikini, credit card, contraceptive pill (we’re now entering the digital age in the late 1950s), microchip, laser, HTML, internet, LCD, cell phone, PC, disposable contact lenses, WWW (in this chronological order, among many more). 2000s: don’t get me started – you see where this is going and it’s going faster by the day.

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Gobustan / Azerbaijan · 2018   mud rider

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Carpet Museum, Baku / Azerbaijan · 2018   green carpet


 

 
Baku / Azerbaijan · 2018   blue clouds



 

 

 

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places / stories

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Baku / The Formula 1 Formula

Formula 1 race track in Baku, Azerbaijan

 
Baku / Azerbaijan · 2018   after the race



 

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Baku / Azerbaijan · 2018   Ferrari


 

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Baku / Azerbaijan · 2018   walking into the restaurant's mouth


 

I didn’t know they had a Formula 1 track in Baku, much less that the circus was in town. I just happened upon it, as one does who travels prior to research, who builds conceptions and misconceptions and opinions from scratch rather than assembling the premade kits on sale. The race was a grave nuisance to anybody who could count to 1. If you’ve seen one round, you’ve seen all. That’s why they call it Formula 1. It’s a circuit for Chrissake. A circuit that strangled the old town and there was only one perforation that led in. It was a hole in time more so than in space and once you slipped through it, there was a Baku on the other side that was its own yellowed ghost, silent as a soul.



 

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Baku / Azerbaijan · 2018   open air room



 

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Baku / Azerbaijan · 2018   door to a world



 

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Baku / Azerbaijan · 2018   megalodon



 

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Baku / Azerbaijan · 2018   glued motion



 

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Baku / Azerbaijan · 2018   hamster wheel



 

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Baku / Azerbaijan · 2018   working towards the night



 

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Gobustan / Mud & Man

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Gobustan / Azerbaijan · 2018   taxi pilot



 

 
Gobustan / Azerbaijan · 2018   Lada gets you anywhere



 

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Gobustan / Azerbaijan · 2018   mud eruption



 

 
Gobustan / Azerbaijan · 2018   blob



 

The more you experience, the more there is to experience. It’s some hexed simple math. Every experience kicks in ten doors. Sometimes it even uses a sledgehammer, or worse, a key. That’s how you cause the finest mayhem when you have the key to something. But as you travel on and beyond, you pay a couple of firsts. You’ll never run out of firsts, rich as you are, but it becomes more and more obvious that you’re skimming. These bubbling mud volcanoes were a first and so were the scrawny petroglyphs. Two firsts for the price of one if you can jam them into the same afternoon. All you need is a flying Lada taxi.



 

But was it art or storytelling or note or clue or graffiti or child?
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Gobustan / Azerbaijan · 2018   us, then

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And with all my culture and intelligence, and devices, I couldn't have drawn it better myself. Au contrairest.
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Gobustan / Azerbaijan · 2018   cow in stone

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Gobustan / Azerbaijan · 2018   tracing nature

 
Gobustan / Azerbaijan · 2018   an inspired art class

 

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elsewhere

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in Central & West Asia