I know, I know…. it’s been awhile since the last post…. I have been very busy busy on lots of projects for the past three weeks!
The other day I had a good reason to have a bunch of photos taken of my apartment… It was fun, mostly because I had a professional photographer, Joshua Targownik, snapping the pictures. He did an amazing job and took this particular one… (more are forthcoming, I promise)….
I wanted to talk about this understated set though it it probably understated compare to the rest of my colorful surroundings full of phones and flowers. I took a copper etching class a couple of years ago and found it completely delightful even though I am a letterpress printer for a living. It was a chance to play and make art completely without a computer (usually I do the artwork & typesetting on the computer and then print… you know…).
Anyways, I got into the idea of juxtaposing two similarly shaped things which had the same lines but completely different meanings. Now, I am not sure if my idea comes across totally, but I etched out a dandelion puff and a spider web. Mind you, they were scrapped freehand completely in copper using a sharpish needle… I didn’t exercise a lot of control over my lines but I liked the look. was trying to use the same kinds of lines in both images but in different directions… sort of.. they both have the same base structure but the small lines either connect to one another or puff out… I think maybe the dandelion puff is the feminine and the spiderweb is the masculine. the same, but different…
Then using a very simple but wonderful process & press, I printed these on handmade paper. This is so yummy because the copper plate completely mushes the texture out of the paper, leaving the area around it smoooooooth. I love that part! yum!
I mounted them on pale yellow handmade paper with a natural deckle and taped some string to the back and then I had two new pieces of art for my walls. Lovely!
I went to film school. That’s no secret about me. I LOVED working on films in college. I was the laborious production designer and/or editor on many films during my time at Northwestern…. There is a nice stash of VHS tapes next to my TV to proove it. Too bad the VHS may not even work anymore!
The first actual “film” I made was a collaboration with my friends John Randono and Abbey Rothstein. The assignment was to shoot on a Bolex an in camera edit which would be processed and then screened in front of class to a song of our choosing. The catch was that this screening would be the first time we would be seeing the film so there was some pressure. Long story short, our group decided on “I am a Cinematographer” by Palace to be the song and it was so perfectly in sync that I took it upon myself to contact Will Oldham (Palace, Bonnie Prince Billy) to ask him if we could actually use his song in conjunction with the film with his official permission. Shortly I received a phone call and a yes (this was 11 years ago).
Next thing I know, by a strange pattern of coincidence, I have made two videos for Will’s “The Letting Go” record (Ebb Tide and Strange Form of Life) which were shot and edited very very very cheaply and consumerly… mostly because I believe it is the skills and the quality of the work that speaks strongest about a piece of art…. Quality doesn’t rest in the medium. does that make sense??
When Will asked me about doing a third video for his latest record “Beware”, I was excited to once again do a music video for just fun… It’s great to have a break from letterpress and print and to be able to use my eyeballs for a moving form of art… (though technically, stationery does move through the mail, right?). I pointed Will’s attention towards another college friend/filmmaker – Leif Johnson – who frequently positions his eyeballs behind lenses of film and video cameras.
I wasn’t present, but I hear that the wrap party was longer than the shoot since they only had a fraction of daylight left to get the singing and walking in…. Leif gave me the footage and about a week later, I had put this little ditty together on Final Cut Express. Just a little exercise of my college education!
Anyone who has been to my living quarters in the past 12 years could tell you 1 thing about me. I love telephones. I have 50 or more rotary telephones in my apartment. Lots of different styles and colors. Every room as more than a couple of different stles sitting around. It can be a bit overwhelming. Ask Joanna, my former roommate. In our old apartment, I think her bedroom was the only one not taken over by my collection. And I probably even tried to sneak some in there at some point when she was out of town……
I love the uniformity of rotary telephones from the 50’s thru the 70’s. They had the same exact shape for years. Different colors would come out but there was really only one style. I have almost all of the colors in that same style except pink…. (just so you all know whomever is reading this and wants to know what to get me for my birthday……..
This morning, my neighbor two doors down, Brian sent me some links of overwhelming pleasing rotary telephone art. I almost exploded with smiles. The fact that they have this many of the exact same telephone just is terribly pleasing. The artist is Rune Guneriussen. and I am gathering this person is from Norway… There are many other cool shots on this site so check it out….
What really happened when I saw this is that I got a hankering for a phone from Norway… just like these. AND I really wanted my telephones to be shot as little pieces of art….
I do have LOTS of foreign phones from my friends’ travels. Represented are the following countries: Thailand, England, Egypt, Denmark, Germany, South Africa, France, Serbia and Canada…. so maybe one day I will document them all…
In the meantime, I was reminded of the photos I took the other day testing out a semi broken 35mm camera… here is one of my phones. It’s not foreign, but since you can’t tell from the black and white photo, it’s a tiffany blue princess phone. I love it…..
My friend and one of my favoritest picture-makers Gia Canali has a blog and she just interviewed me a couple of days ago for it. I thought it would be fun to link to the blog because that would maybe become a blog vortex of clicking and no one would ever leave! yay!
It was actually really fun to do the interview. I did fell a little funny that my answers would be on the internet but I then i realized that I am already talking on the internet…. so I must be a little bit entertaining if YOU are reading this right now? right? Hopefully I can come across sort of knowledgeable too! (Don’t tell me any differently, please!)
I was a little surprised when I read back over my answers in some spots… particularly the Ugly Betty comments – you will have to read her blog to know what I am referring to – because I had just seen an episode a couple of days before and I felt maybe that I was misinformed about soy inks, or that the writers didn’t research very well… I think it was the latter.
Here's the card I made for Gia's Business
I loved talking about Verdie, my press, and I think I come off a little more chatty than I am on this blog about myself…. if you can imagine that. It’s easier sometimes to answer questions than to just make up what you want to say……..
But enough about me and Tiny Pine, let’s talk about GIA! She is a great photographer. We have both been apart of a couple of weddings as the vendors. She is super organic in her style and aesthetic. She uses both film and digital photography (kind of like how I use letterpress and laser or inkjet) and she does a variety of printing processes and treats her photos in lovely ways. I think we are sort of fraternal twins, maybe. We come from the same place but we do different things. (We were just talking on the phone about how we both are from the country and mountains and if that comes across in our work…)
Anyways…. I am so glad she decided to feature me in her blog…. I will do the same for my fraternal twin… Gia Canali is great. take a look at her site!