Son Lux, and a Post-Rock Boy.

Transitions are hard. Even when you’re close to set, and there are few worries for you, and you’ve found what you love, transitioning gracefully is hard.

I spent the last three-ish months living something close to my dream life. I was working at the Eastman House, expanding my mind, making music again, cozy in The Chill Cave I, and raging with the Shark Tank. I found new likes, I ate outside at least three times a week, and even crappy days were spent with people who love and support me.

So being back in Alfred, I am finding myself feeling a little empty. Most everyone was talking about how much they missed Alfred and how badly they wanted to get back, but in a way, I was so busy with this amazing life that i’d built for myself, that going back was not the first thing on my mind.

I found myself falling in like with a wonderful post-rock boy, and the music I heard and made was twee as fuck, lushly orchestrated pop, reminiscent of Van Dyke Parks and summer blondes smoking joints on the beach.

Lo, life was good, brother. Life was good.

Now I’m cooped up in this cell of a room, sterile and echoing. It smells like my grandmother’s house in here.
I’m blasting the summer jamz of ’10, I’m wrapping things in ribbons, and covering things in hearts, and I just can’t seem to brighten the damn place up. My tiny window barely lets any light in, and my view is of a brick wall.

And this is what Alfred feels like for me. Solitary confinement pretending to be something else.

I jam out my Son Lux, (ironically, my favorite song is called Betray) and the music is sexually tense, lavish, and lonely. If the music had a flavor, it would be Karo Syrup and sweat. If it had a smell, it would be garam masala. It’s worn maroon velvet walls, and gold fleur de lis. It reminds me of lazy evenings with post-rock boy, sipping beers on his sofa, watching not to burn our fingers, him sitting not close enough, reading books out loud to each other, and walking as slowly as possible back to my house together.

I want No Bummer Summer back. I want No Bummer Forever to be here.


So a new class has started

I have just entered my senior year, and the feeling is terrifying.

I am now TAing the alt process photography class and I find myself feeling intimidated by the responsibility.

I am about to get started on my wet collodion work, armed with a summer interning for mark osterman and france scully-osterman, and also, a perverse drive to push myself way harder than needed.

there is no way i can even start to work conceptually in this process yet, as I haven’t even mastered it as a skill.
But I find the challenge to be refreshing, and i am excited about starting completely from scratch and to really learn a process cold.

So, welcome new alt-pro kids to the wonderfully confusing and challenging world of non commercial photography.

i found this great little website

where i guess the writer is also into collections and multiplies. his/her work is a little more graphic than mine will be, although i’m really enjoying the hand drawn stuff.

my mantra for the past few months has been

“consider grime”

it was something my photo professor, brian arnold, offhandedly mentioned while talking about the joys of alt process work. it was during a discussion of andy warhol’s gritty and grimy photocopy print work. I scrawled it down in my notebook, and found myself repeating in my head and in my notes and it started showing up in the work i created.

everything is so clean cut and machine made right now in art and design, and computers are mostly to blame. people don’t understand why anyone would pull a silkscreen or hand develop a photo, when you can just get it from your computer.

i think the convenience of computer based art has made a lot of artists lose touch with the joys of actually making something with your hands.

i think that art consumers are also starting to get bored with all the digital stuff. no where is this more apparent than the rise in popularity of hand drawn type faces. Sure, i’m just as tired of the cutsie indie flick with michael cera in it, and the cute hand drawn titles, but at least they’re a step in the handmade direction.

this is where grime enters.

there is a wonderful spirit that comes from filth and hand made stuff. grime also eliminates the too-cute-must-craft-kitten-mitten bullshit that handmade work seems to be being sucked into.

there’s a lot to be said for destruction, distress, and “considerate laziness” (a term my minimalist sonic art professor, andy deutsch, coined in my freshman year- it’s about how the thinking process and seemingly half assed things can be extremely beautiful, because there’s an unrivaled simplicity that can sometimes only be drawn out with extreme laziness. )

i feel like grime humanizes work, and brings art back into an accessible area for non artists, because they can see that a fellow human made it, and it also takes the artist off of a pedestal, as their mistakes become the art, and shows that they are not artist mystical beings, but rather people coping in their own special way.

i don’t really know where i’m going with this.

basically, i’ve gotten bored with making perfectly executed and neat work. i am perfectly capable of making a perfect photographic print or pulling a flawless screen print. but that shit’s for machines, so chose not to. I want work to reflect the imperfections of the human hand.

The Start of a New Semester

I’m going to try and do a better job of using this as a digital sketchbook and process blog.

i’m farting around in my artist multiples class with Kathy Vajda, and our first assignment is to find building blocks and elements to create a project of modular multiples.

i’ve been sort of obsessed with hoarding my entire life, and how people live and organize themselves. perhaps it comes from being raised by two obsessive compulsive hoarders. (this is not hyperbole. you should see my garage/attic/basement.) I want to use pictures of piles of stuff, and the contents of people drawers, and sort of create new piles and drawers of clutter using modular silk screening and digital print.

i think that creating ten different drawers with modular elements would be an interesting way to pursue this project.

right now i’m leaning towards kitchen utensils. possibly jewelry. or makeup. I would like to work with contemporary femininity, as it’s something i find interesting and apparently my views on feminism are rather controversial (although i do NOT want to make “feminist art” as it can be super trite and obnoxious and the stigma of a work being feminist often outweighs what people can/will appreciate based on its craft and aesthetics.

here are some piles and drawers i have found on the google.

and of course, the absolute king of piles, kurt schwitters and his merzbau:

this project/class should be really good for me, as i’ve been working in multiples for a while. case points are my print final from fall sophomore year and my photo
final from last semester. :

summary of final project

I made 140 portraits for my final project in alternative process. the mediums were cyanotype, kallitype, liquid light, platinum palladium print, reductive monoprint, and painted monoprint.

i decided to hang the work in strip form because it is the most efficient way to get the viewer to interact with the piece, and i feel that it also is a very elegant way to display such an absurd number of images.

my aim was to get the viewer to be overwhelmed by the number of images, and therefor have them interact with the piece more on a intellectual/emotional level than on an aesthetic one.

I am not so much interested in creating clear photographs, or to create documents of an image. I am more interested in capturing a feeling, or a thought, or a time or generation or an idea. preferably all at once. By creating abstracted portraits, i am trying to capture more than what a person looks like.I am trying to capture who they are in an emotional and cultural sense. I chose to mix media for a few reasons. One, i felt that by mixing media, i draws the viewer more into and around the piece, therefore giving more of the interaction i desire. Honestly, if it weren’t taboo, i would want people to rub their hands all over my work, and smell it, and lick it, or interact with it anyway they want, short of completely destroying it. MY other reason for mixing media is i decided that not every portrait i had lent itself to just one media.


I really enjoyed seeing his work.
I found it interesting that one person could maintain the same photographic style for such a long period of time.
I also found it interesting how his images seemed either very intentionally composed, or completely haphazard, although ultimately achieved the same outcome.
I still don’t understand why he was considered a surrealist. i found his work to be incredibly on the documentary side.