hocus, pocus, locus, (for Talbot), 3D lenticular print, 30x40
This piece is meant to be seen along with specere. Together they are ambivalent homages to the important figures of the 19th century. This piece is dedicated to William Henry Fox Talbot, who invented the negative positive process in photography. It is an reenactment of Talbot’s first image looking at the window of his studio. To make my own, I pointed the camera at my own bedroom window, opened the shutter of the camera once I went to bed, and closed it when I woke. The image is a six hour exposure of all that transpired outside my window as I slept. What you see here is a loving participation with Talbot. I present a “straight” photographic image, with no digital manipulation. Instead you see both the build up of light out my window, and the accumulation of photographic artifact. It is printed lenticularly so has the effect of a clunky 3D diorama. I wanted the image to feel both limited by the technology that made it, and magical because of those limitations.
specere (for Darwin), digital slides, stereoscopic viewer
The title specre means to look at or see. It is the source of our words like spectacle and specimen. This piece is meant to be seen along with the piece hocus, locus, locus. Together they are ambivalent homages to the important figures of the 19th century, Charles Darwin & William Henry Fox Talbot. These two men helped shaped the way we see and know the world around us. To view it, you pick up a small stereoscopic viewer, similar to binoculars, and look into it. You see 2 slides set at a distance so they merge as one and become a magical 3D specimine. This piece is specifically dedicated to Charles Darwin, who ushered in an understanding of the natural world that gave way to taxonomy, the scientific method, and notions of the "interconnectedness of all living things." These ideas are central to the way we understand “the natural,” but they also dismiss the unscientific notions previously ascribed to nature.
*this video is an approximation of the experience of the piece.
This piece is a cousin of the previous 2. It is a panoramic image of one of the slag piles left from the long closed coal mine in Cherry Illinios. This particular mine is the historical site of the Cherry Mine Disaster of 1909 where 259 men and boys died. These deaths were the result of a fire that ran out of control in the mine, and in its aftermath the Illinois Workmen's Compensation Act was written. A law that still stands today and protects the rights of workers.
The image in the piece was shot from atop one of 2 slag piles left form that mine. It is an image of an artificial topography uncommon to the rural landscape of Illinois. This topography can be seen by all from miles away and stands as a monument to the labor, energy, wealth and death given to create it.