Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ready for Vincennes University Solo Show

The amount of time these three Word docs took to make will remain nameless. All 86 pieces are packed and ready to go! One of the things they don't teach you in art school is that you must know how to drive a cargo van. Yes indeed....

Sunday, July 29, 2012

"Nine Fake Cakes & Nine Bodies of Water" Self-Published Book at Last!

Check out the preview below and click on the link underneath it if you are interested in ordering one.

Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder by Lawrence Weschler

I should have read this book in 2006 while working on the wunderkammer but better late than never.  The Museum of Jurassic Technology, along with finding John Baldessari's house, is one of the must-sees next time I am in Los Angeles. The odd hours Mr. Wilson keeps have never aligned with my schedule and it therefore becomes a more sought after location to visit when I've tried twice ending in failure. Plus, it's right next to the CLUI which I absolutely have to visit as well (one can't only visit the Wendover location and not see the real source!).

Some highlights from Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder include:

"The visitor to the Museum of Jurassic Technology continually finds himself shimmering between wondering at (the marvels of nature) and wondering whether (any of this could possibly be true). And it's that very shimmer, the capacity for such delicious confusion, Wilson sometimes seems to suggest, that may constitute the most blessedly wonderful thing about being human."

I enjoyed Weschler's investigations on whether or not the wall text in the museum was indeed true. He and Errol Morris most certainly have something in common as their research approaches obsessiveness. They call, they visit, and they must get to the bottom of everything. Eventually Weschler gives up and accepts the museum as it is but chronicles the path thoroughly.

"Ever since the late Renaissance... these sorts of collections got referred to as kunst- und Wunderkammern. Technically, the term describes a collection of a type that's pretty much disappeared today - with the exception, perhaps of the Jurassic - where natural wonders were displayed alongside works of art and various man-made feats of ingenuity. It's only much later, in the nineteenth century, that you see the breakup into separate art, natural history, and technology museums. But in the earlier collections, you had the wonders of God spread out there cheek-by-jowl with the wonders of man, both presented as aspects of the same thing, which is to say, the Wonder of God."

I didn't realize that separation of art museums from history and technology was as late as the 19th century. If I could step back in time and see just one of these culminations.... That paragraph lends a little more history to what I didn't know about the inception of the modern day museum.

In his notes, Weschler also outlines the top ranking of "one-of-a-kind museums" compiled by Weissman Travel Reports in 1995. The Mütter Museum (one of my favorites) topped the list but these also sound intriguing: Museum of the Two-Headed Animals in Bamberg, Germany; the Barbie Museum in Palo Alto; and the Museum of Menstruation  (WTF?) that didn't make the list in Maryland. After perusing the Museum of Jurassic Technology's website and looking at its "Sympathetic Institutions," I can't help but want to visit some of these too.

Weschler ends the book with a wonderful quote from Italo Calvino in If on a Winter's Night A Traveler (which just bumped this book up in my library check-out list): "To my astonishment they take me home rather than to some secret hideaway and lock me in the catoptric room I had so carefully reconstructed from Athanasius Kircher's drawings. The mirrored walls return my image an infinite number of times. Had I been kidnapped by myself?"

Athanasius Kircher's drawing of a parabolic horn which could amplify sound waves for the enjoyment of listeners via.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Joseph Kosuth, Clear, Square, Glass, Leaning, 1965-67

Matted, framed, wired and nearly ready to go (labeling and bubble wrap will transpire tomorrow). It's been a long time since I built those frames last month! Their first stop will be here.


I anticipate a lot of unearthing of the artistic past in the coming months. First up is Flatfoot (since we were on the subject of shoes and skates in a previous post). I've collaborated with a number of artists in my life but this piece is from my first collaborative exhibition in 1995 with my father. After receiving it in the mail, I photographed it quickly at school today and noticed that it had a long drip of white paint running across one of the photographs in the top right corner. I couldn't remember if it was there before so I hunted down the documentation from Focus magazine below and found that it was a new addition since its creation two decades ago.

It's embarrassing to look back at this artist statement (certainly undergraduate material). I don't even know whose signature that is since it's legible and so far from its current scrawl. The images come from four semesters of undergraduate photography classes and are also collaged alongside of the box that supports the shoe in the center. It's the only piece I have left from this exhibition. Many of the other works were sold or buried in the backyard before leaving Boise.

I'm thinking more about objects these days - where my interest comes from and how I can make my photographs more three-dimensional. Still tying up a few loose ends before I have the time to work on that in full force. Soon.... I hope... soon.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Instagram Vacation: Oregon

JKR Workspace 1

JKR Workspace 2

JKR setting up the photo shoot

The Ghost House Revealed, Astoria


Graduation & birthday cupcakes travel disaster, Neskowin

View from the rental house, Neskowin

The Rock, Neskowin

Trees at low tide, Neskowin

Last July I spent three days watching this rock in Italy...

... this July I spent three days watching this rock in Oregon.

One of those Gerhard Richter clouds.

Outdated information, Astoria Column

Last walk along the Columbia River, Astoria

Adios, Oregon (my mini travel photography brochure)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Instagram Vacation: Washington

In light of all the conversation about Instagram versus fine art photography lately, I give you some of my favorite images from the application taken this month. I don't consider these part of my art practice - more like a sketch and a documentation of the events that transpired. I do believe it has artistic potential and plan on incorporating it in an assignment for my digital class next semester. Maybe someday I would consider making art from it but not for now (I have a hard time thinking in square format).

Mukilteo Ferry 1

Mukilteo Ferry 2

Coupeville, Whidbey Island

JR and a giant eagle on the tree below at Deception Pass, Whidbey Island (a photo for Mom)

Ed's studio

Another photographer's cacti collection (an ongoing theme on my feed)

Leaving Whidbey Island on the Mukilteo Ferry

Salish Sea AKA Puget Sound, Mukilteo Ferry

Bainbridge, Island

Summer cookies, Bainbridge Island

Poulsbo (a Norwegian wonderland)

Gingerbread men doughnuts in Poulsbo

Back to one of my homes - crossing the Astoria-Megler Bridge that I walked across last year

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Inherited Interest in Objects: A Conversation with My Father

James K. Russell's promo photo taken by yours truly for his exhibition at the Bay Harbor Avenue Gallery in Ocean Park, Washington next month.

I was having a conversation with my Dad last week about his interest in objects, knowing full well that my love for photographing them also comes from him. As a painter and assemblage artist, he knew what his answer was immediately: 1) He loves the quality of the objects and how well they were made. The old adage "they don't make them like they used to" fits in well here.

2) The "hunt" or thrill of finding them is also very important. Since I don't find my objects (and he does), the aspect of this that I can most relate to is the search for earthworks. The excitement of finding this often elusive artwork with vague directions out in the middle of nowhere is quite gratifying.

3) The third part to his answer is "the process of transformation." How he alters the object to create a new narrative and meaning holds his interest. I don't do this literally but am always hopeful that the story behind it changes the way it is viewed.

Dad's latest work revolves around his interest in old toys and secondarily, male/female relationships. I photographed a dozen of them in his workspace while I was visiting and these were some of my favorites. His use of plexi-glass boxes as a receptacle to carry all the broken down parts (including an airplane) and how it comments on age and disrepair fascinates me.

Death of a Heel caused me to laugh out loud when I heard the title. The detail of the assemblage is above.

Either way, our interests revolve around nostalgia. His is more open ended while mine usually chronicles a direct experience I've had with the object.

This was one of the first sculptures in the series which had been hanging out in the window of my school office for the past four years. I photographed it before all the wood chips fell off the paintbrush. Now it currently resides in my living room.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ocean: Self Indulging Vacation Photos

Cape Foulweather, Oregon

Barnacle covered log in Neskowin, Oregon

Neskowin, Oregon

Neskowin, Oregon

No ghost ships. No tsunami debris.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Clear Water Samples: Neskowin, Oregon

Making up for the fact that I no longer have any high resolution photographs from my very first Pacific Ocean test from last May.