archetypographia


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wayfinding

For a long time the only way I knew how to get somewhere was through the use of wayfinding landmarks. Though I’m sure there were easier ways to remember and describe routes, I relied on the curvature of a road or its proximity to a body of water. In my adult (driving) life, I have discovered that this methodology only satisfies the desire to reach a location or locate oneself within a certain area, but not to find a way to or from a destination with any certainty.

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This uncertainty never bothered me, though. Because on some level I always knew exactly where I was and where I was going, just not its relation to anything else. The viewer with any connection to the material recognizes it: progress, change, evolution of the greater environment with relation to a tiny person becoming a larger person. A nomadic trajectory of inquiry invites a consideration onto each of our own relationships to the wayfinding of our youth. Signs, both literal and figurative, guide the way.

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On HWY 74 between Charlotte and Asheville NC, there’s a Psychic. Countless times I’d pass that sign heading one way or another, I even stopped once, knowing that when I saw that sign I had an arbitrary amount of time left in my journey: when it was on my left, more than an hour remained in the drive. But when on my right, just under an hour until I reached my doorstep, or my bed. My self was never lost but rather placed within the context of what was around me, much like the Wintu in north-central California, who, as written about by Rebecca Solnit in A Field Guide to Getting Lost, “don’t use the words left and right to describe their own bodies but use the cardnial directions.” As anthropologist Dorothy Lee wrote, “When the Wintu goes up the river, the hills are to the west, the river to the east, and a mosquito bites him on the west arm. When he returns, the hills are still to the west, but, when he scratches his mosquito bite, he scratches his east arm.”

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It has become increasingly important to me to photograph sites of significance in my life, whether something I passed in a car more times than I could remember and always wanted to stop, or a place my heart and mind knew more than my camera. In order to honor this compulsion as well as to try to understand it, these photographs are beginning to turn into an atlas. “The places in which any significant event occurred become embedded with some of that emotion, and so to recover the memory of the place is to recover the emotion, and sometimes to revisit the place uncovers the emotion” (Solnit).

This atlas, then, becomes a tracking of marks in time as well as place.

 

The drive that is done over and over seems different the day that old building finally is knocked down and replaced by a drug store. That building looks completely different with all the ivy torn down off its facade. I never knew there was a cemetery next to that gas station.

This Atlas of where and when is supplemented with photographic evidence but most of it is programmed into our memories: turn right at the pink house, if you’ve reached the river you’ve gone too far.

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(Fort Mill, SC  2014  //  Mamiya RZ // Portra 400)

 


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new work

I’ve been hoarding negatives for months and I’m just now beginning to process, scan, and make prints. In addition to the digital pictures I’ve made this spring-summer, I’ve shot over a hundred sheets of 4×5″ and probably 25 or so rolls of color 35mm and 120mm.. as well as a few expired rolls of 120mm B&W Verichrome Pan. Now is the time for editing, sequencing, and making some work tangible.

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I will be releasing a some limited runs of prints in the next few weeks, as well as small photo and mixed media objects and sculptural works. If you’re interested, or to join the mailing list, shoot me an email (archetypographia[at]gmail.com), and you’ll be among the first to know when work becomes available.

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supermoon

A few weeks ago I took a walk in Maudslay State Park under the supermoon with some old friends and some new ones. I’m never quite prepared for how exquisite a very full moon is, and how the silvery light casts chiaroscuro shadows and illuminates everything. I was also unprepared for how immensely full the Merrimack River was. So swollen from the pull of the close moon, the river was high and fast, carrying huge branches and whole trees and debris.

Ever a fan of night exposures, I made some long exposures on our walk.

 

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salwaterlogged

My nice and nephew, fresh out of the ocean, explored our beach house and let me photograph their adventures. The little house we rented for a few weeks is on the coast between Pulsano and Monti D’arena-bosco Caggione in Taranto, which is a quiet little area fairly devoid of tourists. It was also excellent for sea glass collecting, but more on that later.

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Nonna Italiana

I met a woman on the bus from Rome to Martina Franca who couldn’t have been less than 80 years old and was so enamored with my embroidery that it prompted her to chatter non-stop for hours in Italian to me knowing that I could only understand about a tenth of what she was saying. She told jokes which had punchlines I couldn’t translate, held my hands emphatically, and grasped my face while saying “bella, bella” over and over.

After losing two grandmother figures in the last month, this love found in the most unexpected place was nothing short of miraculous.

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the January Cure

I made this mix for January, a month which often brings forth the most lamenting from me, a month which is such a struggle because of the grey and the mush and the lack of sun. Even though it has quietly become February, I figured this mix still applies, as it is currently 24 degrees and snowing in Boston. But it will get sunny some day, the snow will melt, even if not until March. So like January, though this mix starts melancholy, it turns around.

some track notes:

“The Big Game is Every Night” – Jason Molina / Songs: Ohia / Magnolia Electric Co.  : just released at the end of 2013 as part of a 10th Anniversary re-release of The Magnolia Electric Co. album. This track was never released but was recorded during the Magnolia sessions, and is quickly becoming a favorite in my Molina rotation. Warning: it’s a silent killer, with zinger lines like “The last thing I see/ Let it be me helping/ Honestly, let it be me working/ On being a better me.” more info about the record and activities surrounding its release herehere

“Mr Big Stuff” – remix by Dart DJ : I read about these guys on esb. You can download FREE awesome party mixes on their soundcloud!

“Seized” – Floating Action : Though the music of Seth Kauffman often feels warmer to me, this song has a crispness to it that makes it more late winter than his usual. 

“Neighbor” – Band of Horses : my favorite from the forthcoming Acoustic at the Ryman lp, “Neighbor” exemplifies how strong Band of Horses can be with just harmony and simple, stripped down instrumentation. The whole record feels like a mix between Church and a living-room session, and it’s only for the occasional crowd cheering that brings you back to the whole “live-record” thing. (Band of Horses will be on a sold-out acoustic tour this Spring)

“Make You Feel My Love” – My Brightest Diamond : the most recent in a long line of covers of this song is delicate and lovely. Past renditions of Bob Dylan’s original include Adele, Billy Joel, Prince, Garth Brooks, Joan Osborne and Jeremy Irons (yes, the actor), to name a few.

While Boston is covered in several inches of the fluffiest, powderiest snow, R and I make a fort on the living room floor and celebrate this snow day by snoozing and watching Amélie.

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