Sunday, November 22, 2009

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Send Me the Pillow that You Dream On

Here are images of the installation that's up at the Allegany Art Council's Saville Gallery until November 20, 2009.

Here are the words I wrote about the project:

Send Me the Pillow that You Dream On is a continuation of my interest in gathering photographs from vernacular, or everyday, collections. Previous projects include: snapshots of people blowing out birthday candles; a grouping of pictures of ex-girlfriends and ex-best friends; and my largest collection – and longest on-going project—hundreds of photographs of strangers, their pets, their vacations, teenagers in their bedrooms, and pictures of their cars, found while walking, riding my bike, perusing copy shop trash cans, peering beneath the lids of supermarket photo scanners, walking through parking lots, riding trains, shopping...

As a person who makes art, I am concerned with making the act of making make something other than the thing made. Or, to put it another way, I want the work I do to work in a way that makes it something other than a piece of work. That being said, many of my projects are collaborative and make plain the relationship between the components.

For Send Me the Pillow that You Dream On I solicited pictures from friends, family, former students, and acquaintances in an effort to create a multifaceted group portrait. Participants were asked to send 4 photographs: a school picture from between the ages 13-17; a picture of the pillow on which they sleep; a picture shot though an oft-viewed domestic window; and a current picture of themselves.

In gathering and exhibiting these images, I’m wondering what happens when photographs from all of these lives are brought together. Is it possible to infer from the portraits the history that occurred between the making of the picture from high school and the one from 3 months ago? Does seeing the images – the pillow with its neighboring lamp and alarm clock, or the window views, be they of the Maryland countryside or Berlin – contribute to our understanding of the subject? What it is that we learn from looking?

Here is a list of the participants:

First row, from left George Allen, Prague, Czech Republic

Greg Auldridge, Rockville, MD

Robert Barrientes, Hopewell, VA

Jen Berlingo, Richmond, VA

Arlen Bolstad, Richmond, VA

Jennifer Browne, Frostburg, MD

Jason Burnett, Penland, NC

Drew Castillo, Washington, DC

Ed DeWitt, Cumberland, MD

Michelle Dove, Washington, DC

Paul Evans, Los Angeles, CA

Sharyn Frederick, Alexandria, VA

Chris Freeman, Richmond, VA

Travis Fullerton, Richmond, VA

Seth Glass, Boonsboro, MD

Second row, from left Langdon Graves, Brooklyn, NY

Heather Guhl, Fredericksburg, VA

Butch Haggard, LaVale, MD

Jessie Henson, New York, NY

Traci Horne, Richmond, VA

Michael Huggins, Berlin, Germany

Darrin Isom, LaVale, MD

Megan Kress, Bowie, MD

Kate Lacey, Brooklyn, NY

Debbie Lease, Montvale, NJ

Donna Lease, Arlington, VA

Ken Lease, Upper Marlboro, MD

Michael Lease, Richmond, VA

Peter Lease, Montvale, NJ

Serafina Lease, Upper Marlboro, MD

Third row, from left Kate MacDonnell, Washington, DC

Meg Mack-McAbee, Huntington, MD

Stephen Manger, Frostburg, MD

Susan Manger, Frostburg, MD

Sherrie Noonan, Frostburg, MD

Tiffany Seay, Farmville, VA

Todd Shelar, Baltimore, MD

R.S., Rawlings, MD

Brigette Thomas, Richmond, VA

Brad Walker, Baltimore, MD

Liz Wille, Rome, Italy

Laura Sharp-Wilson, Salt Lake City, UT

Kimberly Wolfe, Richmond, VA

Sunday, September 20, 2009

How Photography Lost Its Virginity on the Way to the Bank

“Sidney paints his fingernails shocking pink, a brilliantly audacious gesture that exposes the discorroborative bias of Revlon’s vacuity, while trenchantly confirming lipstick as a phallic ploy of alpha males vis-à-vis Derrida’s strategies of discorroboration.”

There a post worth perusing about Duane Michal's book Foto follies: How Photography Lost its Virginity on the Way to the Bank over at PPV

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Continuing my Glacial Pace...

Missing from my previous Penland posts are pictures of some of the amazing people (other than Alyssa) I spent time with over those nearly three weeks.

This is Mark- he's the generous, mind expanding photo-studio coordinator that Alyssa and I both fell in love with. When you and I are together I'll tell you about the time we spent at his home. A truly great person that I'm looking forward to knowing for a long time.

Being such a social place there was lots (and lots) of dancing.

Here are some of the people from the class. From the left: Alyssa; Frank, a former Richmonder who has (quasi) dropped out in the mountains of North Carolina so he can be near Penland; Ebony, just back from three years in Angola - the country, not the prison, and originally from Baltimore; Suzie, from California, lived for many years in Winston-Salem, now retired with her husband to Floyd, Virginia; Becky, one of our classes main attractions, a recent graduate of the College of Charleston and student of Michelle Van Parys, Ashley, from Maine, one of the funniest people you'll meet, attending Maine College of Art this fall; and Liz recently back from a jilt inducing road trip, a bad ass hipster w/ Richmond roots, and also a student of Michelle Van Parys.

The paper class made a hot air balloon that was fueled by hairdryers. Beautiful. There was a huge loving crowd who cheered as the balloon made a slow, tumbling descent down the hill. If I went to Penland again and took a class I'd take a paper-making class. The class was chock full of good people.

Watching the balloon launch. Top row: Ashley (see above); Liz (see above); Jackie, in the painting class, we enjoyed a ginger aid soda and a meal together but otherwise I know little of Jackie; Shelly, Shelly was in Arthur Hash's class, from Olympia WA, in the band Razzmatazz there and an amazing singer - more about her later; guy I didn't meet; Suzie (see above); front row: ?; Alison, another of Alyssa's students, lives in Raleigh, is truly her own person and a DJ of a Monday morning (9-12) show on WXDU, Alison was happy to be away from home, citing that at home she's "mama-san" and that at Penland she got to be her own person.

As we drove off these were the faces that bid us farewell. Additions to the crew are the two on the right. In the brown tank top is Megan, a recent graduate of Cranbrook and the studio assistant for the paper class, on the first day we met Megan called me out for mentioning suicide twice during dinner; and Jason, a Penland core student who, like all the core students, did an amazing job making sure that all of us had an amazing time during our class, and also took the time to let me in and show me his Penland.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I went to Penland to assist Alyssa with the class of 19th century photo processes she was teaching. The images above are from an outing to Spruce Pine that we took on a gray Sunday. There's a lot I could say about Alyssa but I'll opt to let the pictures speak.

Go here for Alyssa's website and here for her blog.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Mornings at Penland

Penland is nestled near the top of a large mountain and overlooks a meadow that I assume is owned by the school. Weeknights at Penland are given to slide lectures where instructors and their assistants present their work. Most lectures include an image shot by the speaker of the meadow during some previous stay at the school. This meadow, archetypal in its representation of all things meadow-ish, has no doubt helped to foster the near mythical devotion that so many speakers expressed about being in these hills.

Each morning as I walked to breakfast I'd head straight to the road to see what state the meadow was in (and to see whether or not I could capture it in a photograph). The mornings when the clouds were lodged between the hills were my favorite. On these days I would continuously look towards the meadow and watch as slowly the mountains in the distance would reveal themselves.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Back to Planet Spider

I'm back, in a slight state of shock, and going through my pictures deciding what and how I'll post. Here's a good one to start with... I shot it before I left using Kim's point and shoot and my new monocular. The blobs are a spider and her egg sac, the brown forms are leaves on the roof outside our kitchen window.

I thought I might do something with this image or shoot more like it while at Penland. I didn't but during the time I've been gone the spider has produced at least 3 additional sacs and there are little baby spiders everywhere. There are also lots of people, cars, the sounds of the highway, light pollution, land lines, bills...


Monday, July 13, 2009

2 Good Finds

I haven't found a photograph for quite a while (and am unfortunately getting used to it). But today was another story and I found a handful in a nasty alley close to VCU. I've found quite a few pictures in this alley and I generally check it out anytime the trash cans are overflowing.

Here are two good ones:

I'm headed to Penland on Friday and looking forward to nearly 3 weeks of (relatively) uninterrupted thinking and making. I'll be assisting Alyssa Salomon during a class she's teaching on alt photo processes and am damn excited. Two things will be stranger than most of the other things that may be strange: 1. Kim won't be there and 2. I don't have to cook or clean... wild.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Chris Freeman is Funnier than You

CBF is in art school and I think his classmates should feel threatened.

Go here for more.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Send Me the Pillow that You Dream On

I'm working on a new project called Send Me the Pillow that You Dream On and am hoping that you'll participate. I have been collecting 4 specific photographs from friends, family and a few acquaintances for the past few months (a few of you have already sent me your pictures- thanks!) and am really happy about the way it's coming together. Part of the project is being exhibited at the Allegany Arts Council in October (with more venues to come) and I'm looking to make a book out of the work.

The project is somewhat similar to something I did in the past that you can see here: You're Invited and it shares some characteristics with SAMETIME 7:15

If you're interested please look over the following info (click to enlarge). If you send me your email address I'll send you a higher res version that you can print out.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Curtain Rod Character

Brad Walker's new project Curtain Rod Character (nee Some Monastery) is available for free download. Check it out! It's F-R-E-E.

Here's a picture of Brad and his sweet fella-friend Richie (Reechie).