Monday, September 4, 2017

Oh Illinois, a good price

Currently, I am preparing for a small installation of my project Snow White Black Sheep at the Clemens Gallery in Paducah Kentucky. I began Snow White Black Sheep during my first residency at the Osage Arts Community about 2 and a half years ago. The Excavations part of the project includes 18 photographs and one video framed in handmade wooden frames (I built my own frames!). The photos are presented in three grids, which look like archaeological dig sites. While the printing and framing is complete, I am eager to finish the field notes for the grids.

After doing a lot of research online, I've found great tools (charts, etc), glossaries, and photographs of archaeological digs. For my project, the field notes act as the labels for the photographs. From my perspective, as an artist, the visual components of field notes resemble a journal, sketchbook, and map (cartesian grid) to reference when analyzing the dig site. Digs are inherently destructive and cannot be replicated. Therefore, digs need to be meticulously documented and field notes, in addition to photographs of the dig and recordings, are essential to capturing the features unearthed square by square in the grid.

My digs did not actually take place, so I am having some fun replicating field notes of an imagined dig and adding stories, maps, legends, and other information that enriches the story of the project overall. Ultimately, I am archiving my family history by eschewing the typical tree charts and using this media instead.

I have to add that my mother did extensive research of our family tree and shared that research with me. Otherwise, I wouldn't know half of the stories about my family. So I have her to thank for the inspiration.

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