I'm a visual artist and writer in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

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Posts tagged “Exhibitions”

Three Times Round

  • Three Times Round installed at The Tangle
  • A screenshot from Three Times Round
  • A screenshot from Three Times Round
  • A screenshot from Three Times Round
  • A screenshot from Three Times Round
Three Times Round installed at The Tangle

Three Times Round installed at The Tangle

A screenshot from Three Times Round

A screenshot from Three Times Round

A screenshot from Three Times Round

A screenshot from Three Times Round

A screenshot from Three Times Round

A screenshot from Three Times Round

A screenshot from Three Times Round

A screenshot from Three Times Round

I made a new digital projection piece for The Tangle, an art event organized by a few friends in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. For Three Times Round, I revisited a series of panoramic photos I made in 2003 of an abandoned barn in the town I grew up in. The field where the barn stood is now a new subdivision. The text is about departing and returning; I have moved away from Newfoundland and back again three times.

Sometimes you leave a place and when you return, everything is the same.
Sometimes you leave a place and when you return, you wonder if you ever left.
Sometimes you leave a place and when you return, the place feels different.
Sometimes you leave a place and when you return, you see things differently.
Sometimes you leave a place and when you return, you are not the same.
Sometimes you leave a place and when you return, you can’t find it.

index of first lines at Reese Bullen Gallery

index of first lines at Reese Bullen Gallery

My digital print index of first lines is currently being shown in the art department faculty & staff show at Reese Bullen Gallery, Humboldt State University, in Arcata, CA. I’m currently teaching Web Media & Design here at Humboldt.

Here’s the artist statement you can see on the wall there:

I am interested in adapting digital photographic data into information systems usually associated with language and literature, such as an index of first lines.

Occasionally found in anthologies of poetry, an index of first lines lists poems alphabetically according to each first line, eschewing authorship, title and chronology. A reader might not always recall the title or author of a poem, but is likely to remember how it begins. I’ve always found indexes of first lines amusing as exercises in found poetry – reading the lines sequentially often results in a charmingly garbled, wandering diatribe, full of false starts.

index of first lines contains the first row of pixels from every image created with my first digital camera, from the day I bought it until the day it died. The lines of pixels are stratified in chronological order, with the earliest photo at the top. The resulting image contains 2048 × 5197 pixels (my camera produced images that were 2048 pixels wide, and there are 5197 photos).

Software tools such as Photoshop often impose a film-photography metaphor onto digital imaging. To get away from such metaphors, I use computer programming to manipulate digital image data in a way that is intrinsically digital. In this work, a PHP script was used to copy pixels from thousands of photos on my hard drive and compile them into this image.

index of first lines is a product not only of a digital camera, but of computer code. It is composed of a series of sequential images that are never perceived individually. Like an index of poems, its usefulness as a reference device depends on my memory. Taken out of context, it has a certain surreal quality.

While it’s impossible for me to identify individual photos, looking at this image does bring back memories. Thicker bands of colour indicate distinct sessions of photographing, when I snapped many photos with similar backgrounds. For instance, a certain band of white near the centre is the trace of the overcast sky on the afternoon I first visited Stonehenge. In this way, index of first lines is a cross-section of my memory, or at least my photographic habits. Examining it is an act of reading.

The faculty and staff show is open from September 13 – October 4, 2012.

“Book Return” Exhibition

  • "Island of Sheep" (front)
  • "Island of Sheep" (back)
  • "Remote Sensing"
  • "Book Return" at Ferriss Hodgett Library, Grenfell Campus
  • "Island of Sheep" in the exhibition
  • "Remote Sensing" in the exhibition
"Island of Sheep" (front)

"Island of Sheep" (front)

"Island of Sheep" (back)

"Island of Sheep" (back)

"Remote Sensing"

"Remote Sensing"

"Book Return" at Ferriss Hodgett Library, Grenfell Campus

"Book Return" at Ferriss Hodgett Library, Grenfell Campus

"Island of Sheep" in the exhibition

"Island of Sheep" in the exhibition

"Remote Sensing" in the exhibition

"Remote Sensing" in the exhibition

Book Return is an exhibition of bookworks created by participants in Printed Matters: The Disembodied Book Made Whole (again), a workshop by visiting artist Scott McCarney. The exhibition is on display at Ferriss Hodgett Library, Grenfell Campus, Corner Brook, NL.

I really enjoyed Scott’s workshop, it was an intense week of studio time, and the physical act of dissecting and reworking old books was a refreshing change from my mostly digital practice. I tried a few different things during the workshop, and showed two bookworks in the exhibition, Island of Sheep and Remote Sensing. I made Island of Sheep rather spontaneously out of an old novel whose cover caught my eye – turns out John Buchan was not only a novelist but served as Governor General of Canada, and wrote The Thirty-Nine Steps, famously filmed by Hitchcock. The novel Island of Sheep was a sequel to that book, and a bit of an adventure story. Inspired by the paddler on the cover, I cut a series of waves from the pages that extended back into the book, creating a scene with some depth. I liked the effect but it didn’t feel finished, at which point I found a perfect passage in the text: “There was no time to waste, so I plunged at once into my story.” I cut a slot into the bottom of the book to reveal the text, and added another small hole at the top, which helps to activate both the sky area and the back cover. This work was created entirely by cutting into the original book.

For Remote Sensing, I found a fantastic old book about remote sensing (aerial photography and such). I had a few different ideas about how to work with this volume, which was full of beautifully precise maps. The “remote sensing” theme also seemed to suggest a process which would not involve damaging the original book. I eventually decided to scan every page of the book that had a map, digitally combining these images by superimposing all the map sites according to their original positions in the text, creating a sort of geographic cross-section of the book. I composited this map with a scan of the back cover of the book, which had a wonderfully distressed landscape-like texture, and made a large print of the work for the exhibition.

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