Monday, February 18, 2013

Studio Time

This week I spent my studio time drawing maps and waxing them to use as negatives. This week I can start bringing them into the darkroom to make prints. I will then scan and hopefully animate those. Because I am interested in introducing time to the final product I am working with many more drawings, so the whole process is a little slower than making just one map for a large final print.

Rebecca Solnit

I am reading "A Field Guide to Getting Lost" by Rebecca Solnit, and I may just end up underlining most of the text. Some pieces:

" Of course to forget the past is to lose the sense of loss that is also memory of an absent richness and a set of clues to navigate the present by; the art is not one of forgetting but letting go. And when everything else is gone, you can be rich in loss."

"We treat desire as a problem to be solved, address what desire is for and focus on that something and how to acquire it rather than on the nature and the sensation of desire, though often it is the distance between us and the object of desire that fills the space in between with the blue of longing. I wonder sometimes whether with a slight adjustment of perspective it could be cherished as a sensation on its own terms, since it is as inherent to the human condition as blue is to distance? If you can look across the distance without wanting to close it up, if you can own your longing in the same way that you own the beauty of that blue that can never be possessed? For something of this longing will, like the blue of distance, only be relocated, not assuaged, by acquisition and arrival, just as the mountains cease to be blue when you arrive among them and the blue instead tints the next beyond. Somewhere in this is the mystery of why tragedies are more beautiful than comedies and why we take a huge pleasure in the sadness of certain songs and stories. Something is always far away."

"Some things we have only as long as they remain lost, some things are not lost only so long as they are distant."

Monday, February 11, 2013

Reading and Drawing

I have spent the last few weeks reading, thinking, writing, and drawing. After returning from the residency I spent some time just breathing and being before I tackled the residency summary. Listening to recorded critiques and writing out my thoughts gave some focus to my plan for this semester, but I also want to make sure to leave some room to see where each step leads me. 

I started by buying and borrowing many books, the reading of which will guide the work I make this semester. I am equally as excited about the reading as I am about the work I am making, I hope that is not a bad thing. I started with Geoffrey Batchen's "Forget Me Not", Roland Barthe's "Camera Lucida", and Katharine Harmon's "You Are Here: Personal Geographies and other Maps of the Imagination" and have now moved on to  "The Map as Art" (also by Katharine Harmon) and Rebecca Solnit's "A Field Guide to Getting Lost". I have many more books on my shelf for this semester, among them books on memory, maps, psycho-geography, and philosophy and I am excited to immerse myself in their knowledge.

One of the studio projects I am pursuing this semester will be animating my memory maps into time-based pieces. Lots of thinking and some research has led to an idea for how to start this and I spent a good portion of the snow storm we just enjoyed here in New England making drawings to use as negatives. Once I get a little further along in the process I will be able to post some images here.