Thursday, February 27, 2014

Promo Cards are Here

Ignore the institutional background. So glad I went with the two-sided approach. Marilyn is a little more yellow than I would have liked but overall, I am pleased.

Weathered Paper Part 2

Last July, I hung notebooks under the eaves to see if I could use them in their weathered state. I was extremely disappointed that one sheet attached to the larger sketchbook disappeared within the first month. I always wondered what happened to it. Did someone pull it off? Did the wind sweep it away? I had plans for that sheet in its yellowed, water stained state and they were foiled when it vanished.

Earlier this week, I gathered information for my next artist stalking adventure on Google Street View and discovered the image of the rental cave was updated. Lo and behold, the Google street car photographed the missing sheet of paper in the yard.

As everyone in this part of the world will tell you, this winter is the worst in decades. I ventured outdoors a couple days ago to look at the current status of the suspended paper and this is what I found. 

The two notebooks on the left were removed a couple months ago but the other two are sufficiently weathered. At least I know that the Google car can help me locate them if they dematerialize before my next trip outside.

Monday, February 24, 2014

"The Postman's Choice" on the Postcard Collective Blog

In an effort to keep the Postcard Collective Blog updated before our panel discussion at the Society for Photographic Education next month, I posted the story of this card here.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Broken Music Box

I attempted to photograph this broken music box three times since it shattered in transit two summer's ago (thanks UPS). I am calling it quits at this image and will now throw it away. I suppose it fits under the series, Autobiography, but more likely, it is a photo I took for me and it will only exist in this blog post and as a file on a hard drive for the remainder of its life.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Very Short Analysis of "Aperture Remix: A Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration"

The Aperture Remix exhibition is currently on display at the Ball State Art Museum. I was awarded the prize for "most use" the other day when I admitted, in front of a large audience, to visiting it three times with all my classes. I plan on returning before it closes to peruse the small library thoroughly (sounds like a Saturday afternoon well spent).

The premise of the exhibition explores contemporary photographers looking through the archives of Aperture magazine and responding to their influences. Several of my favorites, both young and old, are represented.

Penelope Umbrico, Moving Mountains (photograph courtesy of Ball State University)

Umbrico was paired with the Masters of Photography series. I was less interested in the original mountain images because I had viewed many of them while working at the Center for Creative Photography in graduate school. Umbrico's work was an unexpected homage to the original yet the presentation still maintained her signature style using low technology as an art form.

Someday I hope to see Sunsets (from Flickr) installed in a gallery space. After looking up this link, I am reminded how very few sunsets I see in one year and how that needs to change.

Stephen Shore and Doug Rickard (image courtesy of Ball State University)

I am thrilled every time I get to see a Stephen Shore print in person, let alone his original Amarillo postcards (below). They were just as mundane and dated as anticipated (hard to believe the world looked like that the year I was born).

Stephen Shore, Tall in Texas, 1972 (image via)

Doug Rickard, Mallard Cove Resort, Lake Sutherland, Port Angeles, Washington, August 27, 1973 (image via)

Doug Rickard's internet search results to find photographs that responded well to Shore's  reminded me of scenes straight out of Mad Men. Of particular interest was the above photograph with two compelling formal combinations: interiors and exteriors and warm and cool colors (particularly blue and yellow).

Images of Alec Soth's video, Summer Nights at the Dollar Tree, in response to Robert Adams's Summer Nights (above two images courtesy of Ball State University)

Unfortunately, the most disappointing part of the exhibition centered around two of my most loved photographers. Maybe there weren't enough of Adams's prints in the exhibition or perhaps it was Soth's casual statement:

"Making night pictures, twenty years later, was a struggle. I just couldn't get the blood pumping through my veins. The world I was looking at didn't feel new. It felt like Robert Adams's world. I had a new camera with a video option that I'd never used. I didn't really know what I was doing technically, but that was an asset. It felt good to be a bit lost."

I should review the video away from the space and in the comfort of the living room because I would like to change my mind.

Promo Cards Ordered

I am raising the bar at the Society for Photographic Education this year. I am not printing my own promotional cards but ordered two sided ones (A Tale of Two Obsessions is the obvious choice for this format). Here's to hoping they arrive on time and look close to the colors below.

Next up: apply for exhibitions to show this series together at long last.

Friday, February 14, 2014

What Did You Do On February 5th?

On 5th February 2013, I was at school from 11 AM - 10 PM. After a departmental meeting and working quietly in my office, it was critique day in Photo 1. They produced excellent work for their first assignment (display case worthy). In the middle of my Photo 2 class, I cut sixteen cardboard box corners to protect my framed artwork for its shipment to Poland. It was a darkroom day and not too many people were asking me questions so I didn't feel too guilty about doing something for me. I ate leftover soup for dinner at 11 PM and edited photographs for the series A Tale of Two Obsessions: Arline Conradt and the Cat Scrapbook until well after 1 AM.

One year later on 5th February 2014, I answered an email from a stranger in Germany requesting my mailing address. The outcome led to receiving the images above by Ernst Richter. Other than wondering what that would entail, it was not a good day. It snowed so much the previous night and early morning that it was not possible to leave the unplowed road in front of my house. I missed a vital meeting which caused undue stress the rest of the week and an important lab day in Special Topics. This snow day was not relaxing or productive.

I searched for Ernst Richter's Homage to On Kawara online and this is what I found. I wish there was more. Thank you for including me in your project, Mr. Richter.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

R.I.P. Nancy Holt

Jacinda Russell, Snow Burial for Nancy Holt, 10 February 2014

Sometimes actions and images speak louder than words. For everything else I ever wrote about Nancy Holt.  One obituary can be found here.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Clear Water Sample Box

With some help from the Wood Shop, the Clear Water Sample Box is prepared to store specimen bottles (and documented as an in progress piece). It may take a couple years to fill but the container is ready.

I am borrowing the labeling system from Susan Hiller since the stick was wearing off of my previous tags. What I do not like about hers are the dominating tabs so mine are far smaller. Writing with miniscule text, the location fits neatly on the front but the date must be documented on the back.

I have neglected to mention in the last week that my website is updated with new images in Autobiography and I succumbed to the inclusion of a Clear Water Samples section.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Addition to Autobiography: Hair

Jacinda Russell, Muncie, 2014 (winter)

Jacinda Russell, Tucson, 1997 (fall)

Jacinda Russell, Boise, 1984 (summer)

The aughts are represented in the Ball jar on the above right (every haircut since moving to Muncie).

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Catalogs in the Mail

The mail is a topic of great interest these days. I blame my inability to get to the post office box due to the weather (therefore making the trek downtown more meaningful). This week, I received the Emoji Art and Design Show catalogs which were a pleasant surprise. 

It is a slick reproduction with essays, works of fiction, and reproductions of several of the pieces in the exhibition. It is safe to say that I am done with Emoji Art History but I enjoyed the brief reintroduction to the series. It was a reminder that I do not always have to shove a project into the recesses of the portable hard drive and not let it be shown to the world before it is labeled "done."

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Postcard Collective Winter 2014

Abbie Hoffman's Steal this Book was this round's influence. I wanted to create a postcard that indirectly said "Read this!" because I know everyone does before it arrives at its destination. My favorite postal clerk even admitted she scrutinizes my cards (whether or not it is "legal"). All of this is ripe for the creation of more than one image and I plan to continue this theme in the future.

With this postcard, the question arises what does one write that typically would not be admitted in a public forum (albeit the audience is small)? I also wanted it to be art related and after several weeks thought, this was my answer. Next I would like to reveal something that the reader would feel embarrassed knowing - something so personal (yet art related) - everyone wonders why it is written in plain sight for all to read.

Side note: This week I started having conversations with postal clerks about Mail Art.

My question was: "What is the strangest thing anyone has ever mailed?"
Response #1: "A dog collar sent media mail."
Response #2: "Last week a woman sent a sheep's brain."

Next week: New post office. Same question.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Postcard Collective Interview: Hannah Barnes

I am new to the interview process and my sporadic stint on the Postcard Collective Blog proves this. A few months ago, Hannah Barnes agreed to answer a few questions about her interactive postcards. It was the most challenging one because I had to step outside of our friendship, our mutual love of birds, and my admiration for her artwork. Her answers are extraordinarily thoughtful (no surprise) and reveal more about her working process than I ever knew. Read the interview here.

Also, if you are in the area, check out her work in the exhibition Crosscurrents in Contemporary Abstraction at Taylor University.