Tuesday, September 30, 2008

bw conversion-my toes

some ongoing thing I'm working on with body landscapes.

and the bw version:



I didnt have access to my other images so i used the one from my second circle, but i think it still works because the mold is what really holds the original together, but once it's black and white it's less interesting and pretty much just looks like dirt

Marilyn Minter Lecture

Marilyn Minter Lecture at SFAI_

Hi everyone. I went to the lecture and it was so packed. Not so much fun sitting on the stairs. But worth it none the less. 

I'm sure everyone is familiar with her work, its AMAZING her photography and paintings are pretty impossible to tell apart. She presented her best pieces from the past 25+ years I believe. Every single thing was just beautiful. 

The attention and time she accorded to"boring" objects that she was painting at the time was well spent, even simple shavings of linolium (spelling?) were rendered in the highest quality and because they were so perfectly done, they became these beautiful and breathtaking creations. 

Marilyn talked about reflections and how we see ourselves when she presented some work having to do with mirrors, I found this interesting because it made me think about how I perceive myself. How I'm often thinking about what I look like and not typically how I'm looking at myself. If that amounts to anything of substance. I suppose I was most interested in her ideas of reclaiming images such as porn images and the heat she felt from the art community at the time. The bad reputation she got for going where no females had really gone before inspires me. The fact that she went there, and in the end was successful with her Art whether or not the community liked it I think is truly exceptional. I'm inspired by the way she followed her heart and her mind to take her far and the strong trust she puts in her own work. Trusting yourself is a big part of creating anything. I think it was Ann who during seminar asked, "How do I remind myself that I am the first and last person I have to answer to?" or something to that effect. But anyways, thats a profound question and it came up again when I was listening to the lecture.

Another quick thing, Minter mentioned that she had no choice in the matter of making art, and that even though at the time she felt her reputation was ruined that she wasn't going to stop. I'm sure most of us understand what that feels like, having no choice in creating something and at times wondering what the hell we do it for.  A piece of advice regarding making art that she gave at the lecture: When you lose track of time, you're doing something right. Stay with it. 

I wasn't going to go to the lecture due to a bad migraine. But I'm really glad that I sucked it up and went. 


black and white and polaroid all over

this is the original, a Polaroid SX-70 shot that i scanned. no cleanup has been done on the image.

and this is a black and white version.

here i used a combination of a gradient layer and a channel mixer layer. in the channel mixer i tried to pump up the reds and blues to increase the contrast and get that "tunnely" (dark) look around the edges. it's interesting to see these side by side, because i thought that with a polaroid, it would automatically look decades older in black and white. but i'm not quite sure that's the case. i'm still trying to figure out how the "meaning" or impression of the picture changes in black and white, especially taking into consideration the added aged or nostalgic effect that Polaroids already impart to a viewer.

Hank Willis Thomas - Friday at SFAI

Hank Willis Thomas

Friday, October 3, 2008
San Francisco Art Institute Lecture Hall 800 Chestnut Street (Chestnut at Jones)
7:30 pm

PhotoAlliance and Aperture West Collaborative Lecture Series


Hank Willis Thomas is a visual artist and writer interested in notions of identity perception, commodity culture, and the impact of violence in African American communities.

He received a BFA in photography and Africana studies from New York University and graduated from CCA with an MFA in photography and an MA in visual criticism. Thomas has exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; PS1, New York; and National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C. He is the first recipient of the Aperture West Book Prize, a new annual prize for artists living west of the Mississippi.

His work can be seen currently in the exhibition- Double Exposure: African Americans Before and Behind the Camera which is showing until September 28th at the Museum of the African Diaspora (MOAD) in San Francisco.

Monday, September 29, 2008

just for fun

i thought i'd post these 'happy accidents' i took over the weekend. i had been shooting on my crappy digital point-n-shoot under porch lights at night and had the white balance adjusted for "flourescent" lighting. the next morning, i forgot to check my camera settings before taking some shots in bright sunlight at the Albany Bulb. i haven't edited them, but the one below was taken on a different "scene" setting (i think).

6 feet of fun!

The two top photos are of the first hour, the second are from the second hour! i had a really fun time with this excersize and actually did a similar exercise at home which i'll post on the blog when I finish working on those.

Three photos

These are the three photos from last week. It begins as a silly photo, and then by the end it just looks like some person who is standing in front of the mirror. Although, it is obvious that the second pair of legs are two-dimensional, I like the fact that they, together with the reflection in the mirror can call into question if there is in fact another person in the photo.

120/1hr, 1/1hr

For my first space, I selected a bench in front of Mills Hall. I love the specific hardness and delicacy that is influenced by the changing light and shadows of the early morning sun.I enjoy the invisible nature of this space. We may all walk along streets, parks, in public spaces yet never notice the underbelly of  them, which can be quite beautiful.

For the one hour shot, I played with many possible avenues within my circle. I love the texture of trees, the muddiness of the grass and dirt and the way that the trunk splays. I climbed into the tree, lay on the grass and generally got fantastically muddy and covered in exploring this tree. I picked this angle for the one shot because I liked the way that the wood's bark was coming off in it, the folds and the density of the tree and the burst of green and intertwining moss/mud.  

circle shots

string circle

this is circle #2, also by the art building but around a bunch of pipes. I felt less focused on this one, I think my head was still in my other circle with the weird trash.

this is the 120 circle taken up by the painting building near some trash cans. I  went with the pic of the green piece of trash because I got really fascinated with it during the hour; I think I might even want to bring it home and look at it some more. I liked the color of the green trash, the random words and the fact that I have no idea what it is. 

Sunday, September 28, 2008


the first image was my last shot

i thoroughly enjoyed spending an hour on the tree stump with the mushroom, i felt like i learned a lot from studying that small spot for such a long time with my camera. so many interesting things to photograph.

the second spot i think i knew immediately that i wanted to shoot the moss, just because alone it is such a beautiful and unique natural growth, but it's placement in a man made structure made it very unidue because it had taken on the shape of the fence that had once been laying on top of it and i thought that was very cool

locked me in

The first image was the second assignment, "photo taken at the end on the hour"

The second image is one picture from my 120 images taken from the second floor veranda at the Mills Library. I chose the image of the drainage hole because it reminded me of the gutters back at home. During this hour in the early morning, I thought to myself, "where would this water fall and who would be at the receiving end of this water?". I assumed someone sitting below this hole would not appreciate the hole as much as I did that morning.  I would label this shot as "RAW" (whatever that means to you) because it brings a familiar feeling of walking along urban blocks with drainage holes coming out of the side of buildings and getting wet when you least expect it. 


I found it difficult to shoot continuously enough to get 120 pictures- I found myself being too careful, but the experience was great for letting me see how much I could loosen up with it! The photo I've chosen is me taking a picture of my coffee- the most abstract of the bunch.

During the second hour, I chose to do whatever activity came immediately to mind which was gathering every leaf and leaf fragment within the circle and placing them in a pile. The process was very meditative- I became intimately familiar with the earth, grass, berries, trash, and insects within my circle. The final photograph seems quite ordinary in comparison.

Marilyn Minter at SFAI Monday Sept 29th

Marilyn Minter is giving a lecture tomorrow at SfAi at 7:30 for directions and info:

(Sorry I can't remember how to do the link thing)

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Let's try that last one again--

Circular thinking

Hi y'all,
For some inexplicable reason I didn't get a shot of my original circle.  Sorry!  It was in the corner of Mills Hall where they shoved the podium and flower arrangement from the night before.  Here's my chosen shot from there.

My second circle is over by the science building.  Well, clearly I haven't mastered the placement of my photos on this blog.  Anyway, I think you can tell the circle picture above.  Next I'm posting my chosen pic from that site.  

c i r c l e p r o j e c t

Site One_:

Site Two_:

 I noticed that nearly every picture from the first hour somehow has the string in it. I was totally drawn to the string. Although in my hand it was scraggly and weak, when wrapped around the rocks and bars  at site#1 it transformed into a strong super string that was able to contain these other massive things. The string became the dominant subject in my photographs while everything else was in forced submission to it. I love all of the photographs, it was hard to choose. Site 2 for the one hour photo was somewhat harder in terms of deciding the particular angle. I chose to photograph the knot. I feel that it was the centerpiece of the entire circle and is the most important part of the circle because it is the place where ends meet. I also enjoy the background colors not being in focus, instead they melt together and allow the knot to come forward.