Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Here are some more images of books that I've been working on this semester. They are bound in non traditional ways, using the materials to more fully reinforce the content. The first is a book exploring the use of sound. I created an mp3 recording to go along with it, however, I can't upload the file (so you won't be experiencing it to the fullest). This book is enclosed in an envelope and consists of seven pages - the imagery on the pages includes scanned and manipulated correspondences I have received from Compassion International throughout the span of time I've been sponsoring a little girl from Thailand. Throughout the years I've been sending money to Ban, I feel as though I've become severely jaded to the act. I'm also conflicted by the fact that I never write back to her. And I don't really plan on it. I have no words for her. It's a pretty strange compartment of my life...

Mail art anyone??

For this second book I definitely feel like I got back to my roots. About one year ago in a monotype printmaking class I utilized this form, but on a much larger scale as an installation piece. The similarities between this book and my older project include a household/row of houses constructed into an accordion book, as well as using thread to make marks and hold the piece together. In the more recent exercise I decided to incorporate images of the 1950s housewife lifestyle. 

That's it for now, folks! Here's another beautiful song and video for you to enjoy! My new favorite...Mumford and Sons

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

the NEW stomping grounds

All in all, I really like the city of Rochester so far. There is a really great energy. Still getting used to the whole locking doors and cars thing, but you know...it is a necessary evil. Liz and I are living in the South Wedge area of the city. Our street has a very neighborhood-y feel to it and we are still within walking distance to a few local hot spots and city essentials. I'm really starting to love our apartment. At the moment it is freezing, but other than that it is super cute. Here are some interior shots of the new pad. 

*We love our owl salt and pepper shakers and our checkered floor!*

VSW is also my new "stomping ground". I'd say I'm there as much as I'm at the apartment. Two super old buildings, filled with dark rooms, empty spaces, a couple galleries, offices, kitchens, research center, library, auditorium, etc.

Yup. New spaces. Here's a great video/song I've become recently obsessed with. LCD Soundsystem - "Home". Makes me want to boogie.       

Photography is art.

One of the main ideas that I am having to grapple with this semester is the notion that photography is an art form. I totally believe that it is. I think I have always considered the potential of a photographic image to be a work of art. However, I am completely struggling with whether or not I consider MYSELF a photographic artist. I have always created still images as a way to document my life - paying attention to formal qualities and composition along the way, but when considering a photographic body of work, I am experiencing difficulty. After expressing my frustrations with my really terrific professor, Ahndraya Parlato, whose work I find to be truly remarkable, she has encouraged me to take photos of what excites me. She also reassured me that as a first semester grad student in a new program, it is okay to be freaking out and confused. Woo!
Here is a selection of images that I photographed for my first critique in Advanced Photo. About a year ago I drew an image of cutlery growing out of the ground in my sketch book, so I thought I would see what happened if I translated that into still photographs. 

I like the idea of recognizing objects and I also wanted to see what I could do with the house that I built for a video installation project last year.

I'm completely unsure if anything will come out of these images in the future, but these are what I'm playing with for now. All in all, when it comes to a photographic image and my personal work I feel like there needs to be something more. Whether it be printing onto the photo, incorporating collage, cutting the images up and sewing them back together, combining them in a book or incorporating sound. Maybe this struggle has to do with the fact that I am only using digital images. Perhaps I need to branch out, use film and get down and dirty in the dark room?      

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Our second book assignment was an extremely confusing concept. Sequencing. You wouldn't think so, but it totally is. Some examples of books that utilize sequencing include The Americans by Robert Frank and Riding First Class On The Titanic by Nathan Lyons. I was kind of at a loss, so I decided to combine photos that had similar formal qualities as well as similarities in subject to convey the importance of taking a break from working. I think I tend to be somewhat opinionated when it comes to "adults" working too hard and too much to the point where their lives are stripped of happiness. The final book turned out to be unsuccessful, but certain images stood out as interesting individually. 


Right around this time we also got a chance to hear a lecture and attend a gallery opening at the University of Rochester's Hartnett Gallery showcasing the photography of Neil Cox. His work is very technical when it comes to science and mathematics. He builds his own structures that have multiple cameras attached to them, they create complex, abstract images. Since I don't have much of a photo background, most of his processes go WAY over my head. 
We're learning a lot. Photo, books, video, film, photo history, collections handling, etc. It's all goooood.  

Monday, October 11, 2010

it's been one month. Woah.

It has been a little over one month since I began a graduate program in Visual Studies at the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY. For a long time I never considered grad school as an option for myself and here I am, thrust head first into an intense new environment - being challenged to produce artworks that I have never considered and learning so so SO many new things. I'm going to begin to keep a more updated journal of my grad school happenings. In just this first month, I feel like I have experienced many monumental moments. At least noteworthy ones. If I don't write about them now, I am likely to forget or let the importance dissolve.

I also want to keep a more updated account of what projects I am currently working on. But first, I must back track. 

Our first assignment was dealing with the series as it plays a part in artists' books. I chose to take images from old toys at my grama's house and connect them creating a toy-like object. The reason that I am drawn to these toys has to do with the fact that the hands of four generations of children have played with them. 



I will post more "backtracking images" from this month SOON!