Saturday, May 30, 2009

PKAP Artist in Residence

In preparation for PKAP I spent some time considering what my role would be as an Artist-in-Residence (AIR). What does an artist/landscape photographer/theologian look for within an archaeological dig? How might these images serve both my intents as an artist and the needs and desires of the project?

Pertinent to these questions are also queries about the nature of photography itself. What is it? What does it do? …more than I can even begin to hint at today.

Gillian Rose, in Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials suggests that researchers utilizes images in their research in a variety of methods. She confines her analysis to two main methodologies that are distinguished by the qualities attached to the image. Images are either supporting or supplemental in her typology.

The first category uses a photo-elicitation process in which the images are data to be analyzed, offering visual evidence of research questions and arguments. This process relies heavily upon a documentary approach to photography. Here the research framework or context gives the images their coding or meaning.

The second, or the supplemental, method allows the visual qualities of the photos themselves to emerge on their own terms, which serves as a visual supplement to the written text of the research. Supplemental photos are not seen as evidence for the argument, rather they are attempts to convince that the arguments are correct. Within this vein, the inherently descriptive nature of photography plays a prominent role in imaging the “texture” of a place. The wealth of visual information is left to the reader/viewer to interpret the elusive qualities that so often define place and time. It would seem that photographs in this trajectory have a markedly experiential or sensual significance that may be suppressed or ignored in the photo-elicitation process.

Bill Caraher’s comments back in January would seem to corroborate Rose’s typology and suggest my charge with PKAP this year is a mediating position between the supporting and supplementing methodologies by providing an alternative perspective for analysis, as well as depicting the emerging deeper textures of the sites and context.

As an artist and theologian, I am interested in the cultivation of place by uncovering and piecing together a historical narrative, while simultaneously adding to it by our presence within the Cypriot landscape.

Friday, May 22, 2009

PKAP and Notre Dame Preparations

Today is preparation day...packing, checking packing, clearing up loose ends, cleaning, laundry etc. Our plan is to leave Grand Forks tomorrow after Karina gets off work and then cruise down to my parents home in Lake Park Iowa. Since its Memorial Day weekend, the Lakes area will be abuzz again with life. Holiday weekends at the Iowa Great Lakes means flea markets. My plan Saturday is to spend the day photographing for my ongoing Commodified Memory series at the variety of flea markets and antique shops in the region. After spending some time with my parents we plan on driving to Sioux Falls on Sunday to stay with our friends the Mournet's. I will be in Sioux Falls making final preparations for my CTS/NABPR paper presentation at Notre Dame next Friday...just hours before I fly out to Cyprus. I am looking foward to catching up with our SF friends many we have not seen since our departure from SF almost one year ago.

Wednesday afternoon Philip Thompson and I will head to Sioux City to begin our journey toward Notre Dame. We will stay at a home of an acquaintance there to ensure we get off earlier enough morning for the 10-11 hour drive.

So much to do...So little time.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Threshold Series (continued)

I am continuing the Threshold series again this semester. It will make up a small portion of the total work for the summer classes.

These are from my recent trip across North Dakota.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

North Dakota Signage II

A few more signs from my ND road trip. I love the Aneta welcome sign (F.U. Oil...Are you serious?).

Is your hotel nice? Its OK.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

North Dakota Signage

I spent Thursday and Friday this week crossing the great state of North Dakota to deliver some art to the Dickinson Museum for the summer. I made the most of the trip by taking photos all the way across the state stopping at many small towns along the way. One of the things I love to photograph is old or odd signs. Ive posted several times previously on Grand Forks collection of retro signs. The next few days I will share some of my trip photos. Today's theme is "signs".

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Racetrack Pano's

it was a beautiful day in the upper valley today. i got out to shoot for a bit and stopped off at the local sprint car track and shot a few pano's of the fence lines.

Monday, May 11, 2009

PKAP Blog Aggregator

As I posted the other day, there are 3 blogs running for the PKAP project. You can follow all three on one site...Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project Blog Aggregator

Friday, May 8, 2009

Commodified Memory Composites

This is the highlight of the unintended turn mid project that added to the confused direction for a while. My project initially suggested a tie between humanity and material culture through our memory. My task was to photograph second hand material culture suggesting an implicit tie to memory. While I appreciated the formal visual nature of the image and the challenge of documenting this culture, it felt incomplete. In my efforts to understand this emerging project I returned over and over the language of narrative. It occured to me that a narrative needs either teller or hearer, or in the case of visual a viewer. I began a series of contextual photographs in the style of Joel Sternfeld and Alec Soth to make the connection between consumer and consumable explicit.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Commodified Memory Composites

The end of the semester brings completed work. Along the course of this semester I have shown several individual images in this long, and what I have called "schizophrenic", project. I am quite happy with many of the diptychs/composites/montage pieces.

My goal with these are to suggest the process of the consumer. One image is of the shelf, filled with goods available to purchase. Our tendency as perpetual consumers is to scan the image, as we would if we were in the store. The paired image is to suggest the consumer's choice of a product.

As an added twist of irony, I have photographed the isolated items in a more pristine and commercial manner that is reminiscent of new items.

Again, one overarching trajectory of this project is memory. We scan these used items, many utilitarian in nature, still suggest some tie to memory. The lower image in particular would have explicit ties to memory for girls and women who played with dolls and Barbies. I cannot help but to wonder what a feminist interpretation of this pairing would be.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Got An Extra $120,000?

Cyprus and PKAP Blogs

The time is coming close for the PKAP team to leave for Cyprus. Some will be leaving the states in about 2 weeks. I will be leaving on May 29th from South Bend, IN...hours after my presentation for CTS/NABPR. It will be a whirlwind of a couple days. During my 3 week sojourn in Cyprus I will be attempting to blog about the experience of being there and documenting the team and their work. I will hopefully be posting here, as well as the Graduate Student Blog for the project. PKAP has consistently brought new media (blogs, pod-casts, etc) in line with traditional archaeological work. Their innovation allows their more accessibility and keeps family, friends, supporters updated on a the life of the project rather than summary reports and scholarly papers. It would seem to foster a greater interaction across disciplines as well allowing others to participate.

Please follow our work through one or all of the following blog links.

Graduate Student Blog

Senior Staff Blog

Undergraduate Student Blog