Archive for the 'About Me' Category

10
Feb
12

Back to Reality

So, I’m back in Boston.  It’s taken me about a week to get my legs under me again – between sleeping normal hours, starting back up on both jobs and just figuring out my day, I’m finally back on EST.  I’ll miss you Praha time!

With the crash back to reality has come a re-engagement with what’s going on in the US, or at least what’s going on in the world from the US point of view.  I’m reading news again, following things on Twitter, and bemoaning politics.  It seems that I shut that part of my brain off for the month long residency.  It was a nice break, but it’s also nice to be engaged again.  I sometimes feel like my brain has become swiss cheese, as it’s not used to juggling this many thoughts at one time anymore.  That break of just “art” “food” “get dressed” “sleep” “read” was wonderful and very uncomplicated.  I don’t think I really appreciated it until it was gone.

Anywho, just stopping by to say hi and regroup this side of the pond.  And on that note, I’ll leave you with a foolish photo of my furball who is back to being my full-time buddy.

MC Freddie Snuggles

30
Jan
12

Of Mozart and Light

Ok.  New work.  Let’s talk.

This is the branched off version of my Edge of Vision series that I started sometime last year (I think!).  Still making these, and I’m awful at titles, even when I’ve finished a project, so for right now, I’m referring to the new work as Mozartova Light, because it is literally about this light in my flat on Mozartova (a street that once had the honor of having Mozart reside there!).  Anyway, here is one of my new favorites, in terms of the images:

I like that they are confused, in that the overlap of light and shade make understanding the exact space not straight forward.  They don’t let you sink into them.  Yet I’m drawn to these glowing things.  Who knows.

Now, let’s talk big picture, because this has been one of the things I really wanted to work on while here in Prague.  Photography is like breathing to me.  I’ve been doing it for 15 years seriously now, and I just “get it” as a medium – translating light into a two-dimensional images, how that transformation relates to space and time and sense of being.  Moving on – sound and any other medium, not so second-nature.  I love working with sound, listening to things and I think that eventually, working with sound will come more easily.  But right now, I have these sounds, these ideas of how sound will occupy and interact with a person, and sometimes it gets stuck.  I don’t quite have the language down to get things out the way that I want.  Frustrating.

But it’s coming.  The past week, I’ve really been working on my sound piece for my open studios.  I’m going to do a post on it once it’s finished.  And it really is coming out close to where I want it to be.  This translation of the light of the space, but layered in a different way than the images.  It literally is a translation of one of the photographs – this is the foundation of this idea of installation that I’m working on – digital is malleable, and information can slide from one medium to another, providing an alternate interpretation of something.

Let me simplify: I make a photograph.  I translate it into numbers.  I use those numbers to create MIDI notes in sound software.  I compose a sound piece using those notes as my foundation, plus some direct recordings of sound from the space where the photographs are taken.  E Viola!

And to add just another challenge this go round, I’m adding in video.  I’m about to go process this beast in a minute here, so let me wrap up.  This thing with light and sound has legs.  It could go somewhere.  Visually, it’s almost the other end of the spectrum from my silver skiagrams – the bright shiny white to the dark mysterious shadows.  But the bones underneath, those are the same.  Translation, interpretation of a space and how it resonates for me.  Because this is really what it’s all about.  What do I think, how do I feel in a space.  That’s at the heart of this.

Off to play with videos and sound!

25
Jan
12

Making Art

How strange.  Here I am, the self-professed art geek, and it’s been a long time since I actually talked about making art.

See, I view this as a very individualized activity.  My brain functions a certain way, hence I tend to make art in a way that makes sense to my brain.  This line of thinking has been brought on by two events – one, I’m currently reading (and loving) Douglas Hofstadter’s book “I Am a Strange Loop” and two, I went to an artist talk here in Prague a few days ago.  I know it may not look it, but these two things are in fact, related.

Let’s start with the book.  Hofstatdter is an old favorite of mine, since I had to read “Godel Escher Bach” in college and thought his seamless weaving of science, music, technology and the human  mind was ingenious, and I’m a true sucker for anyone who talks about mapping and patterns and repetition.  So I was particularly keen to get my hands on “Strange Loop” where he really digs into our own understanding of self, and how the brain is able to make sense of the world and ourselves.  Heady stuff.  Amazing really.  And I’m not even finished yet.  But here’s the point, he talks a lot about what makes a person an individual, and he’s successfully upended a rather central belief for humans – that one body = one soul.  Let me bring this back to art, before I digress too far.  I’ve always asserted that each of us is truly unique, and that we see the world from our own, singular point of view.  And now I’m wondering about that.

Continuing, we’ve got this artist talk I went to on Monday at Svit Gallery down the street from my flat.  The artist is Jordan Wolfson and it was a kind of interview style artist talk.  And a lot of this talk centered around how and why the artist created different works, and listening to him speak made me realize that how he makes art is nothing like how I make art.  Obvious, yes.  But still interesting to actually butt up against the reality of this truth.

So back to the beginning.  Me, making art, here in Prague.  It’s been simply luxurious, to have to make sure to schedule time to just make things.  Now, granted, what I thought I would make is nothing like what I actually made (and am still making).  But to have the time to just respond, to let what is surrounding you influence how the work progresses is an unimaginably wonderful thing.  Certainly isn’t like when I’m home, and working a few jobs and tired and squeezing art making in on the side, where I keep doing what I’ve been doing, because it already makes sense, and that is actually for me, easier to do right now.

I tried to continue my skiagrams while here, though in modified form – cyanotypes instead of silver.  I’ll be honest.  They sucked.  To prove it, here is a shot of some of my tests:

No contrast, no form, no visual interest.  I knew I needed to adapt, but man, was it heck figuring out how to change.

Now here’s the interesting thing.  I don’t ever have just one project.  I’m a bit too scattered in the brain to stay focused on a single idea for very long.  So I tend to have one big, main project that I really dig into, and then I have little side projects “for fun” that I do when I need a change of pace.  That’s what this blog has really been.  My Natural Disaster images, or my series of images that are just blurry white on white.  Plus, I’ve been goofing around with my camera phone quite a bit too (separate post on those coming soon).

Here’s where things got cool the other week.  One of these “fun” projects started to resonate with what I was experiencing here.  My flat is this big, tall, white place, with little sound and almost no stimuli (no tv, no internet, nothing hanging on the walls and everything is painted white except the few pieces of furniture).

I would come back to this space, not knowing anyone in the city, not speaking the language and not a ton to do in this space but read.  Or take pictures.  So I started taking pictures of the light coming in through the windows, almost to prove that the sun did come out in this city!  And lo-and-behold, I’m making work very simliar to the Edge of Vision pics!  But with new intent, new direction and a very different resonance, at least for me.  I’ll let you be the judge.  Here are a few:

All in all, I’m excited about the new ideas and the new shifts that have happened here.  And the really exciting part for me is that this new visual direction is actually making a ton of sense with the sound that is paired with it (coming soon!) and so I feel like I’ve made a ton of progress with that end of my making stuff.  Residencies = highly recommended.

20
Jan
12

Back Again

This blog is not progressing very well, I must say.  Whole months and not a peep out of my mouth.  I have no excuses.  Time has not been my friend.

However, what you may not know is that currently, time is my greatest friend – you could almost say that we are now BFF’s.  That is because, miraculously, I am currently ensconced  in an armchair, in MY STUDIO, IN PRAGUE!  That’s correct.  Prague, as in the Czech Republic.  Cool, huh?  I was accepted to an artist residency program here at this very cool contemporary art organization, the MeetFactory (named because it’s first home was in just that, a meat factory, though now it is housed in an enormous old glass factory).

The MeetFactory in Praha

This has been the very definition of a luxury.  Time.  Space.  Room to move, to think, to experiment.  I had forgotten how amazing this was.  I feel like I’m back in grad school, but without all the stress, and with way better scenery!

Now, I’m not saying that this has been one big vacation.  The first week or so was a bit rough.  I had a hard time switching to this time zone, and then, there is this whole thing of not knowing a soul here, not speaking the language beyond “Ano” and “Ne” (Yes & No), and it being January and all and there not being a lot of folks just wandering around.  I was all of a sudden cut off.  Alone.  Actually, lonely.  No husband, no cute little furball of a cat, no job and co-workers, no students.  There were a few days where I saw tons of people and yet I didn’t say a word the whole day (I do a lot of nodding to try and avoid my horrible Czech prononciation).

This is a weird thing for me, at this point in my life.  Not talking.

In some ways, I think this threw me a bit, and affected my art.  I was existing totally within my own head.  This can be a weird place, one I wouldn’t recommend visiting, unless it’s a bright, happy day!  Kidding.  Kind of.

Anyway, I got stuck.

Now, I am un-stuck.  I’ll write again soon, where all I’ll talk about and show is my cool art and the neat stuff I’ve been doing, but this post, this is pure gratuity.  My “Dear Diary” kinda moment.  It’s been so long since I was forced to confront myself without any filters. No Tv, lots of books, but there is only so much that even I can read, limited internet (none at my flat).  Lots of time to think.  Reflect.  Remember.  I don’t know if I’m ready to admit this yet, but maybe I needed space to just think and be.  No distractions.  No obligations.

For now, I’m going to run with the idea that is has been positive, if slightly frustrating to start off.  I’ve still got two weeks left of  the residency, and the art stuff is kicking into high gear, which is getting me excited.  It’s easy to see now in retrospect that by unplugging, and removing myself that I would shift and see myself in a new light.  The tired old cliche about what going to an artist residency is all about.  But who knew that it could be so hard to do, to experience.  That unplugging can be down right difficult.  And I didn’t even go cold turkey!  Having to confront yourself without anyone or anything acting as a filter is not something many of us do on a daily basis in our wired world.  I’ll let you know how it goes from now forward….

05
Oct
11

Real Life Update

So it has been quite a while since I last posted here.  The whole summer, to be honest.  Life kinda got in the way.  All very good things (for the most part) but tough on productivity!

Here’s the long and short of it.  We bought a house (yeah!) then started renovating it – which took a lot longer than expected (months).  Then we had to pack, move, paint and unpack.  All while I got an additional position at school, working in the admin office.  It was a hectic summer, to say the least.

But now I’m kinda back.  At least on a semi-regular basis.  And I’m back with all kinds of updates.

One, I’ve got work in a group show down in Jersey (woo hoo!).  I wasn’t able to get down there to see it, but my mom went, and she said the whole show looked amazing, and I got a few shots from her and her friends 🙂  It’s titled “langour | temperance / repose.”  The show info is HERE and HERE.  And here is a sample of one of the images that I have in the show.  You may recognize it from previous posts…..

 

Also, cool news, I’ve started work on the new batch of big, mamba-jamba murals for my solo show here in Boston at the Garner Center at NESOP.  Can’t wait!  Did test strips on Monday, and things are looking good!  Maybe I’ll post a teaser once I get the first couple developed 🙂

And the third bit of cool news is that I was accepted to an artist residency!!!!  This is kinda amazing for me, as I’ve never done one of these things.  It just sounds awesome.  Sure, I’d love to go some place foreign (ie, Prague!?!?) for a month and just make art!  Twist my arm, seriously!  So, to help me along with all this, as airfare is insane and it is a month of room and board, I decided to launch a Kickstarter project.  I’d been hearing a ton about these, and I’ve had a few other artist friends launch projects in the past, but this is another first for me.  So if you know anyone with a couple of extra bucks eating a hole in their pocket, send them my way, and they can help support arts and crazy ladies who want to go to Prague!  Oh, and here’s the link to the project site in case you want to check it out:

Amy’s Kickstarter Project

If nothing else, you should go check the page out, as I made a video, and it must be goofy and foolish, as I can’t seem to imagine me being able to film myself any other way.  You’ll get a laugh.

Anywho, that’s all for now.  I’ve still been working on the natural disaster series, expanding it a bit, so there may be new images on that front soon.  Hopefully, I’ll be better about updates from now on…..

Signing off for now.

29
Oct
10

I got Featured!

And no, it’s not a creature feature, though it is almost Halloween.

One of my murals was in a juried group show this month at the Center for Fine Art Photography titled Low Tech, featuring work using antique, alternative or otherwise non-high-tech like techniques.  It’s a great group of images, and I was very excited to be included, as the juror was Crista Dix the owner and founder of wall space gallery a great space that exhibits photography.  And I found out yesterday that they (C4FAP that is) are featuring my mural print on their blog today!!!!

Here’s the mural:

Here’s the link to the blog:

!!!! Click Here !!!!!

Way cool.  Nice way to start the weekend.  Now back to work……

10
Sep
10

I am a total Photo-Nerd

Alrighty.  For the first time ever on the blog, I’m going to get into what I “really” do.  Not that I don’t do any of the other things that I’ve rambled on about here for a few months now, just that in some ways, this is my baby.

Photograms.  Abstraction.  History.  Sheer, blessed nerd-fest.  Kinda the essence of how I think photographically.

Ok, let’s do this proper-like.  My ongoing body of work is titled Concealed at first at last I appear, which is a total geek reference, first to “Burning with Desire” written by Geoffrey Batchen (page 144 in my edition, for those of you who have already embraced their own inner photo-geek) but more importantly, it’s a reference to William Henry Fox Talbot, one of the great-grand-daddies of photography.  He had these words appear/disappear as a photogram in one of his early experiments using text on paper.  Friggin’ amazing.  The ability for something to be permanent and transient simultaneously.  Concrete and abstract.  Talbot was a genius and recognizing and accepting the duality that was present in photography from the get-go.  As Batchen says on page 91, “Photography was, for Talbot, the desire for an impossible conjunction of transience and fixity.”  First off, I just think that sentiment is beautiful – to desire the impossible, to accept that you will never be satisfied, that a fixed resolution will never happen.  And this is really where I realized where my own work was going.

as yet untitled new mural…..

I think that I am a bit of a twisted soul – I want to deliberately frustrate the viewer to a certain degree.  Not completely, just a little.  “You mean I’m making photograms, images that are a direct trace of light onto paper, no camera, no negative?  And yet you can’t tell what the blasted thing is of?!  What is going on here!?”

I love the idea that light itself can create a visual image via a chemical process.  That with a photogram, you have a direct one-to-one relationship with the “thing” that existed in reality.

And I love the fact that I can make an image today, without Photoshop, without using pixels, that is so abstract that many folks have asked me what these images are of (one of my favorite questions!)….

as yet untitled new mural…..

So, to sum up so far – large-scale photograms made with black and white fiber paper that are abstractions of space and time.  That’s one of my few one-liners that I can throw out when people ask me what I do…..

And I keep going…I started these last year, and in the past few weeks I’ve started cranking them out again, and I’ve gotten crazy excited about the results.  New space, new light, new patterns and images.  Any of you out there in cyber-world have any thoughts, criticisms, feedback or the like, feel free to drop me a message below, otherwise, thanks for reading this far 🙂

as yet untitled new mural diptych…..





Who I am…

I am a self-professed geek. I happen to be an artist. I like to geek out about art, specifically photography.

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