Thursday, October 31, 2013


Enrique Diaz, Fair at San Juan de los Lagos, 1940 [most disturbing photograph I have seen this year]

Ruth Lechuga, Juxtlahuaca, Oaxaca, Mexico, 1981 [above two images via]

Diane Arbus, Masked Woman in a Wheelchair, Pennsylvania, 1970

Bill Armstrong, Mask #511, 2003

Joseph Heidecker, Untitled, 2003 (hand manipulated found photographs)

Man Ray, Duchamp with shaving lather for Monte Carlo Bond,1924

Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Boy in old man's mask, c. 1960

Malick Sidibé, Yokoro, 1970

Zhang Huan, Family Tree, 2000

Janieta Eyre, Making Babies, 2000

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Five Exhibitions, Five Configurations

This is the first time that I let chance play a role in an installation of an artwork. 12 for 7 Years as an Adjunct Professor was exhibited in five locations over the past year (I am fortunate the prints generated that much interest). I was responsible for hanging the grid in Vincennes, Muncie, and Tennessee while someone else installed them in Poland (their method resulted in twelve destroyed prints) and Oregon. There were never any instructions other than an inch apart, at least a foot off the floor, and two rows of six. I have looked forward to assembling these images to see if there were any commonalities and whether or not I could learn from this experience in future installations of my artwork.

12 for 7 Years as an Adjunct Professor, 2000 - 2007, 2012
Vincennes University, Vincennes, IN
September 2012

12 for 7 Years as an Adjunct Professor, 2000 - 2007, 2012
Atrium Gallery, Muncie, IN
October 2012

12 for 7 Years as an Adjunct Professor, 2000 - 2007, 2012

Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Fine Art and Design, Wroclaw, Poland
April 2013

12 for 7 Years as an Adjunct Professor, 2000 - 2007, 2012
Downtown Gallery, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
September 2013

12 for 7 Years as an Adjunct Professor, 2000 - 2007, 2012
Fairbanks Gallery, Oregon State University, Corvallis
October 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

"Two, Nine, and Twelve" at Oregon State University

All photographs by Doug Russell (who also thought of the title: two series, nine cakes, and twelve lunch bags). Regrettably, I am not able to attend the exhibition. I never anticipated having a show at Fairbanks Gallery when I taught at Oregon State ten years ago and am very pleased to return in some form or another.

Monday, October 28, 2013


Several issues later, the new computers are calibrated! This means I can start printing all of the images I finalized at Ucross. At long last.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ode to Mike Kelley

Mike Kelley, Catholic Birdhouse, 1978

Dreaming of seeing his retrospective. I will settle for hunting down the exhibition catalog.

Friday, October 25, 2013

(Two) Origins

I have a vague recollection of owning an old typewriter in graduate school. Perhaps I left it in Arizona or Oregon - I am not very sure. The last serious project that featured typing was Alive in Every Closet, an artist's book in my MFA thesis show.

Aunt Eleanor was a paranoid schizophrenic who unwrapped cigarette packs and wrote descriptions of people parked in front of her property on the foil. While sorting through the house where she died, I discovered similar characteristics between us - she was as orderly within her chaos as I am in my cleanliness - sometimes too fearful a prediction. In this series, I question my relationship with a woman I met only through the remnants of her possessions. She is my symbol of excessiveness and obsession - the one familial guilt shoved aside in a refusal to acknowledge her mental illness.

I miss the days of making ethyl acetate prints on kleenex and bags in the printmaking studio. I was fascinated by brown paper back then too. After completing this series, I challenged my future self to create a project focusing on my orderliness (AKA the neat freak disease). I'd like to think that Autobiography does that, not overtly but the white backgrounds are symbolic of all that is clean and organized in my world.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Robert Adams in Astoria, Oregon

Robert Adams, Apples on the Kitchen Table, Astoria

Robert Adams, Front Yard, Astoria

Robert Adams, Front Yard, Astoria

Robert Adams, Nasturtiums in an Alvar Aalto Vase in the Front Window

Robert Adams, Workshop Window, Astoria

The view from the Adams' house in Astoria, Oregon

[All images are from This Day.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Last Post Featuring Roger Minick This Year

I can't help it... they are too good not to share.

Roger Minick, Motorhome at Overlook, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, 1980

Roger Minick, Couple with Matching Shirts, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon, 1980

Friday, October 18, 2013

Home Again

Anonymous, One of the many jets, 1970  [via]

A little break is needed in my attempt to make up for blogging ineptitude the first seven months of this year. Until next week.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Jacqueline Suskin's "Poem Store"

[All images are from Jacqueline's website]

Watching the evolution of Jacqueline's Poem Store on twitter is another inspiration behind my desire to own a typewriter. She camps out at farmer's markets on the West Coast, transporting her machine, chair, table and umbrella on her bicycle. She types a poem in response to any requested subject on small, random sheets of paper in exchange for whatever price one is willing to pay. These actions happen quickly and spontaneously; the opportunity to live with her words is fleeting.

Sometimes people send her copies of the poems she writes. Many are available to view on her website and here are four that caught my eye:

If you are not in the vicinity of Los Angeles, Jacqueline offers the rest of us an opportunity to participate here. After spending nearly an hour with the Purchase page open on her website, struggling with how much to pay, I hereby resolve to complete the transaction before the week is over. I have a subject in mind but the price continues to evade me.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ode to the Typewriter

James gave me a pre WW2 Smith Corona Skywriter this summer. I have wanted an old one  for some time, believing that having one in my possession would enhance my mail art participation. The "R" was bent and I finally found an elderly gentleman that fixed it in Indianapolis. [Dropping it off on the south side of town in a janitorial business was an adventure in and of itself.]

The interest in this analog activity is fascinating and more and more typewriters are cropping up. Renting a typewriter at a hotel is now a possibility in West Texas as are communal writing events on vintage machines in Seattle. Here are some artists that feature them in their sculptures, installations, and photographs.

Julie Wills, Words, 2011 [coal, beeswax, rabbit fur, thread]

 Heidi Kumao, Letter Never Sent, 2000 (video projection on typewriter)

Liza Lou, Trailer (Detail), 1998-2000

 Nik Mirus

Christophe Dillinger, Typewriter Series [typed directly onto 6x6 negatives]

Robert Cumming, Bad Night for Writing, 1974

Allyson Klutenkamper, Kafka, 2012

Kate Stone, The Anne Frank Room is Upstairs from the series At the Seams

Monday, October 14, 2013

Jonathan Lethem on Robert The's "Book Guns"

Robert The, The Catcher in the Rye, 2006/2010

I was a fan the moment I saw a Robert The "Book Gun" at the Chelsea Museum bookstore in 2007. I am ever so slowly (translation: school has started = little time for reading for pleasure) plowing through Jonathan Lethem's The Ecstasy of Influence and loved this passage on "The Beauty of Second Use." One rarely hears from the originator unless it involves a lawsuit (e.g. Richard Prince vs. Patrick Cariou) so it is refreshing to read about Lethem's interaction with his writing appropriated into a sculpture.

"A few years ago someone brought me a strange gift, purchased at MoMA's downtown design store: a copy of my own first novel, Gun, with Occasional Music, expertly cut into the contours of a pistol. The object was the work of Robert The, an artist whose specialty is the reincarnation of everyday materials. I regard my first book as an old friend, one who never fails to remind me of the spirit with which I entered into this game of art and commerce - that to be allowed to insert the materials of my imagination onto the shelves of bookstores and into the minds of readers (if only a handful) was a wild privilege. I was paid $6000 for three years of writing, but at the time I'd have happily published the results for nothing. Now my old friend had come home in a new form, one I was unlikely to have imagined for it myself. The gun-book wasn't readable, exactly, but I couldn't take offense at that. The fertile spirit of stray connection this appropriated object conveyed back to me - the strange beauty of its second use - was a reward for being a published writer I could never have fathomed in advance. And the world makes room for both my novel and Robert The's gun-book. There's no need to choose between the two."

Jonathan Lethem, The Ecstasy of Influence

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Art Criticism 101: You Too Can Be an Art Critic

I don't know how long Harold Pepperell's collection of critical statements was on my library list nor do I remember the source that initiated its addition. I can tell you that it was hard to find and it was only available through interlibrary loan from one place in the US. It arrived this week and Hannah and I deduced that it was indeed "funny."

From the forward: "About the author and this book: Perhaps the most notable thing about Harold Pepperell, the author of this scholarly work, is that he does not smoke. However, this seeming moral superiority cannot be ascribed to strength of character or steadfastness of purpose. It is the result of his experience as a twelve-year-old who tried smoking corn silk cigarettes. Their foul taste remains forever engraved on his tongue. His interest in the Kandy-Kolored Tangerine Flake prose of contemporary art criticism stems in part from his study of English Literature at UC, Berkeley. He had seen nothing even remotely similar in his years of wading through Shakespeare, Chaucer, Byron, etc. Even Coleridge, in his wildest drug-induced hallucinations, had failed to come close to the verbal pyrotechnics of contemporary art critics in full cry. They truly have made theirs a language apart, infusing into it magic, a puissance, a depth of psychological understanding (often at the expense of meaning) that boggles the mind."

Here are some highlights. Use them well.