here is a sampling of what i found under the tree yesterday morning.
1. it’s beautiful here, isn’t it… photographs by luigi ghirri// this book was given to me by my wonderful grandparents. it has a preface by william eggleston, an amazing introduction to ghirri’s lifetime of work by germano celant and selected samplings from ghirri’s own writings, as well as a huge amount of his photographs (some of which i have never seen. i’ve already read the beginning, focusing mostly on celant’s writings. “photography is a limbo-like universe, a ghostly habitat without boundaries or limits, a territory in which fog reigns supreme…here the boundaries…mingle, intersect and fluctuate making things inseparable.”
2. seattle’s chocolates, san juan sea salt// found this chocolate bar in my stocking, i’ve been trying not to eat every piece of chocolate given to me yesterday, so this one was saved from the carnage. but i think this picture says about all you need to know about what it’s going to taste like. delicious.
4. niagra by alec soth// you all know my obsession (1, 2, 3) with alec soth’s work, so i won’t go into detail about his work. however, along with my luigi ghirri book, i also received niagra. though i’ve looked through this book over a dozen times, i can now say i own it.
5. moleskine’s film journal// i’m sure you can probably guess how useful this will be. from my mom, stuffed in my stocking.
6. anthropologie bronze age flatware// also from my parents, now i actually have flatware that not only matches each other, but also matches me! it’s a beautiful copper pink color, like just about every kitchen accessory from the 60s. i adore this color on just about everything, but seeing as my silverware collection is from three different people and doesn’t match at all, i’m excited to get to use them and keep them laying in my kitchen drawers.
7. uta barth: contemporary artists// another artist have am constantly referencing/talking about, uta barth’s book shows a myriad of her previous projects as well as a good chunk of writing about these projects. i have only looked through the book, so i’ll have to update you on the actual articles.
8. kinder chocolates// delicious. period.
9. vera bradley mini wallet// perfect for scanning my school i.d. without hassle. thanks to my older sister for a great idea.
10. lomography 360 spinner 35mm camera// yes, this camera is beautiful. all black, very few buttons, absolutely no clutter. the stippled surface offers a tactile attachment to the entire piece, and the camera itself carries a beautiful weight (probably thanks to the metal body). but the camera isn’t just for looks (though, in my opinion, it could be wonderful simply based on that). it isn’t an average camera; taking panoramic shots up to four times longer than the average ones, the spinner from lomography creates beautiful and unnerving landscape portraits that capture everything around the photography, causing a displacement of the viewer of the picture produced. i will definitely post examples as soon as i can (expect a few towards the beginning and middle of february).
11. ice cream towel// i have no idea where its from or who put it in my stocking, but its adorable nonetheless, and will be seen hanging from the oven in my apartment kitchen come february.
every year the swedish museum of architecture holds a gingerbread house contest (or as they call them “pepparkakshus”). here are some of the submissions, created by a wide range of applicants such as children, bakers and architects. i adore the use of the actual gingerbread (seeing as when i make a gingerbread house i cover the entire thing so there isn’t an inch of cookie visible). you can’t help but admire the simplicity of the decorations; and maybe get ideas for your next house?
merry christmas followers! if you made a gingerbread house this year, send me a picture! i may do a post containing my favorites (or maybe i just want to look at them!)
so, cody made himself an “ultimate christmas list,” prompting me to make my own. here’s my dream list, made up of items i will not find under the christmas tree, but that i would like santa to consider anyway (if just for a little laugh).
item #1: swatch’s white rebel watch, $65//why it’s unreasonable: not only do i not care about the watch for its value of time, i also would probably forget to wear it more often than not. though it isn’t unreasonably priced, this water-resistant silicone watch would sit in my jewelry basket for the majority of it’s two-year battery life. the minimalist design and beautiful color (yeah, color) begs for my attention, especially when you notice the minute details, such as the inclusion of the date and the beautiful dissecting lines the overlap of the hands creates. i’ll save it on my list for that time in my life where a mere $65 can be thrown at some eye candy.
item #2: black swan: the original motion picture soundtrack//so this isn’t exactly what you would call a far-fetched request, but it is when you saw the movie and fell in love with the soundtrack five days before christmas. i’m not even sure santa sends regards to requests made that late. depending on where purchased, the soundtrack costs around $10-$15 and includes the likes of traditional ballet pieces, dramatic contemporary compositions was scored by clint mansell and takes on a complete life of its own. very capable of writing its own story as a stand alone piece, this soundtrack has the high potential to become memorized for every fermata, adagio and modulation.
item #3: laurent corio’s shokki cooking vessels// who wouldn’t want a few of these to cook/serve/microwave in? the problem? not only are the website mostly in french, they are also too confusing to navigate. the question remains; where do i buy them? so, not knowing how much they run for, let alone where to direct the buyer, i cannot add them to any particularly serious list i have. the outside of each vessels is crafted using clay found in the burgundy region of france; rough, colorless and matte. but when the dish is opened, a flash of color of gloss is seen (in the area of the dish used for the food itself). not only are they beautiful, each vessel is highly utilitarian, transforming seamlessly from a cooking pot to a stand alone bowl.
item #4: vík prjónsdóttir’s snow blanket// why it’s unreasonable: its $210. enough said. granted, it’s made from 100% icelandic wool and is unbelievably adorable. so yes, i do want one. it’s a (glorified) minimalist snuggie, basically, for people with a huge amount of money and a lot of taste.
item #5: small antler hook, $90// i want maybe three of these, to hang right by the door, maybe for coats but mostly because they’re pretty.
now for the stuff i asked for (and hope to receive).
item #6: various photography books (including alec soth’s niagra, $65 and uta barth’s , $45)//why i want them: it is very rare that i become enamored with an artist’s entire body of work. soth has a way of photography mundane foreign ideas and transforming them from the arbitrary to the relevant. he lives and inhabits space among the things he photographs, maybe this is why he is so successful. but i can literally say i love each of his pictures. similarly, uta barth knows about arbitrary, but she is also attracted to it. her minimalist conceptual backgrounds for her picture making also create a highly successful and stylistically beautiful body of work. i want the books not only as coffee table decorations, but also so i can own a piece of their work, if only in the printed form of a bound object. (other books i asked for include charlotte cotton’s the photograph as contemporary art and(monoliths), as well as books by mcginley, luigi ghirri and alec soth (dog days: bogoda and sleeping by the mississippi).
item #7: webb glasses by warby parker// i’ve been asking for these for a while, but really, it’s a great deal. first off, they’re cheap (at $95, free shipping, rx included), and secondly, when you buy a pair, warby parker gives away a pair to someone in need. what better way to spread holiday cheer?
but really guys, have a merry christmas!
obviously this semester i have been focusing extensively on dwelling places. in print, however, i have been focuses on my living spaces in particular. i originally had the idea to track the roofs of the buildings i’ve lived in in chicago already, but after sketching them out, i ended up not liking the shapes they created. instead, i moved on to the rooms i dwell in. ideally, this is an ongoing series that i can expand on, ending with a collection of print series that document all of my favorite living spaces (both past and present). this project focused on my living space now (depicting both the living room, which is the largest area, and my room, including closets and windows). by eliminating all traces of what makes this place my room, i had the ability to turn the shape into an abstract form and invoke different feelings for each print. each print is a screen print, done with one screen and hand stenciling. after printing a block of color for each paper, i began mono-printing over top these with water colors. though it was a time consuming process (requiring a lot of patience and waiting), i am very excited with the final outcome and cannot wait to begin working on more rooms.
separation a, edition 1/1, 33x40in
this print (and the print below) were influenced greatly by julia fish’s works on paper. i began to think about bringing part of the space back into the shape, both abstractly and literally. in my apartment now, the living room has wood flooring and the bedrooms have a white/beige carpet. one top of my one color blocks, i watercolored each plank separately (the process for the one above took a little over two hours, while the one below only forty-five minutes). there was a third print (which looks like a hybrid of the literal print and the abstract one), but the registration was slightly off (that print took one and a half hours to paint; this is where the patience came in).
separation b, 2010, edition 1/1, 18x24in
my room as a mirror at night, 2010, edition 1/1, 18x24in
the above print was another way of incorporating constellations into my piece, making the night sky the only metanarrative i carried throughout the semester in print. i also thought it was interesting to romanticize the geometric shapes; the night sky can now be confined within the boxes of my room.
my room at dusk (facing west), 2010, edition 1/1, 22x30in
this print was an experimentation on quicker mono-printing process. by using the rainbow roll to create an abstract landscape, i was able to further romanticize the idea of confining illusory images into a confined shape.
inspiration: julia fish//
i think the title of the book itself speaks a lot about the content within it. this is my second draft, a 8.5x11in softcover perfect-bound book with 38 pages. there are a few spreads i need to alter before ordering a final (that will be for sale via the website.)
the idea behind the project is still growing, and i feel by continuously posting blog posts about it, the subject becomes redundant. but by opting to write an abundance of comments about the project, i’m hoping to gain a greater understanding of why it has become so fascinating to me. why do we build walls? what is it to dwell? it is difficult to answer all the questions this project has proposed for me, but i think i’ll start by stating that we build to dwell, and our dwelling places become tangents and reflections of us once we engage in the act of dwelling.
i also definitely see this project expanding, so i’m not sure if a final book will be printed for a long while. this subject, the subject of trying to find what i like about houses and their structures and potentially “building” a house out of the pictures i accumulate over time is a subject i see myself working on for a long time, not just because of the possibilities it proposes, but also because i am continually interested in.
for my lighting fundamentals final, i continued to photograph windows at night, still interested by the switch of perspective that happens with window structures after dark. to supplement the series of photos i hung on the wall, i created a catalogue to map the other three series to present the viewer with a look at the origins of my project.
artist’s statement (included in the beginning of the catalogue):
The beginning of this project began with a general interest in houses as structural objects. We all build as a vehicle to dwelling, therefore we create houses that correlate to our understanding of what it means to dwell. The objective of a house is to create a home. How do we begin to create walls with this stated purpose? Taking that idea a step further involves looking at the structural aesthetics of houses and questioning whether or not these elements add to the value of the building as a home.
The most common structural aspects of houses, and possibly the most numerous as well, are windows. They are created as a portal to the outside world, but also offer a look inside the house from the street view. What purpose do we use windows for? Are they to look out of or into? Or do they serve their purpose in both viewings simultaneously?
This play on perspective manifests itself everyday. During daylight hours, one can see quite clearly from the inside looking out onto the street, yard, etc. But after dark, one finds it difficult to look outside onto dimly lit streets without loosing information in the visual perceptions. Therefore, the viewers of the windows from the street get to look in, the window hosting a beacon of light that illuminates the rooms like a television screen. Suddenly, the roles of the voyeur and subject are switched dramatically, disrupting the obvious purposes the window had proposed to us to begin with
book details: 40 pages, 8.5x11in, landscape orientation, printed on premium (28lb) white paper
i’ve been listening to all the music i used to love in high school, you know, taking back sunday, brand new, starting line, straylight run, etc. i decided to check up on brand new, and i don’t care whether or not you like them at all, but their newest cover photo is fantastic.
i wish i had taken that picture.
peter baker knows how to use deadpan tactics. and he knows how to keep each of the images exciting, though he uses generally the same technique of framing in his shots. it is completely obvious from looking through his photographs that he travels, a lot. unlike the majority of us, his images never look like a tourist shot. though he may be a stranger to the landscape, he knows how to hide it. not only is there a sense of comfort with the subject, there is also a certain amount of objectivity baker brings to his work. we all know about my obsession with minimalism, and baker’s style fits right in to this aesthetic. his entire body of work shows evidence of an artist’s eye. i admire it when a photographer can keep consistency throughout his work; the whole of it is true to itself. he appears to be continually drawn to the same colors and repetitiously photographs the mundane, but captures the aura that immediately drew him to the shot initially, communicating this feeling with the viewer. (above picture from series blissfield)
from series blissfield
ypsilanti from series yes, michigan
peter barker is a photographer and designer from the midwest. though he has worked around america, he is currently working and producing from michigan. (above picture: petoskey from series yes, michigan)
ypsilanti (2) from series yes, michigan
from series boom town, bust city, 2008
pellston, michigan from series these great lakes
marin county from the series go west
from series slab city
from series iceland
from series etcetera
from series quietude
from series etcetera
from series etcetera
from series etcetera
from series etcetera