Blog

  • ACA 2015

    A couple weeks back I set up outside the exhibition hall at the American Corrections Association’s annual conference in Indianapolis and photographed basically everything tangible I could gather while I was there. (I wasn’t let in the hall - which was basically a trade show for the corrections industry).

    The piece, which is an interesting exploration of the current corrections industry by David Segal ran on the front of Sunday Business for The New York Times yesterday. 

  • killeryellow

    killeryellow:

    If you’re looking at a piece of art and feel compelled to say, “I could do that,” or “my kid could do that,” the first thing you should do is assess if you really could do that… And if you still think you can do it, give it a try. It could be a really productive exercise to see how something is made.

    What you’re really saying when you say, “I could do that,” and what I’d encourage you to say next time, is: “This doesn’t display a remarkable amount of technical skill and that’s what I really look for in art.”

    It’s perfectly fine to have a preference for art that displays manual talents unavailable to most, but there’s a history of artists beginning in the early 20th century who took on new approaches to material, purposefully avoiding showing off technical skill, and for lots of good reasons - to upset the dominant art trends of the time, to question the value of unique objects, to undermine the commercial system of art by creating work that is unlikely to be trophies for the rich, or to reconsider the separation between art and life.

    Next time you’re compelled to say, “I could do that,” stop yourself and ask, “why did they do that? What are the circumstances that led to me not doing that and them being so driven to make the thing that they not only thought of the idea but then completed it and found an audience for it? What are the social, political and economic circumstances surrounding them doing this thing?”

    Of course, whether artists actually succeed in defying trends, undermining the market or devaluing the specific object is a whole other can of worms.

    The video is still spot on though. She uses Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ “Untitled (Perfect Lovers)” to make an argument for work that indeed encourages the audience to participate or make work in kind. The ready-made nature of the objects (clocks in this case) the artist chooses is what makes the work capable of surviving beyond the artist’s lifetime without material degradation. The simplicity of the work belies the emotional impulse behind making the work during the AIDS crisis as a gay man.

    I wish modern art museums would show this video in their lobbies!

    What you’re really saying when you say, “I could do that,” and what I’d encourage you to say next time, is: “This doesn’t display a remarkable amount of technical skill and that’s what I really look for in art.”

    I wish the whole world would watch this video. 

  • Recently: Julia Stasch - president of the MacArthur Foundation for Chicago Magazine

  • Recently: a really brief few minutes with Rev. Jesse Jackson for The Guardian; G2. Article here

  • shitty contact sheet screen grabs

  • shitty contact sheet screen grabs

  • shitty contact sheet screen grabs

  • shitty contact sheet screengrabs

  • Shitty contact sheet screengrabs

  • Shitty contact sheet screengrabs

  • shitty contact sheet screengrabs

    #summer2k15

  • Dan Shepherd who is guest editing over at Lenscratch right now asked me a few questions about how making work relates to place, which is a topic that is constantly on my mind. Interview + feature here. 

  • Nick Willis for Running Times

  • Nick Willis for Running Times

  • Nick Willis for Running Times: July/August 

  • Brian Nelson photographed for an NPR + The Marshall Project for a story about solitary confinement. One of the craziest stories I have worked on lately. Nelson spent over 12 years in solitary and now spends much of his waking hours as a paralegal trying to assist those in the same situation. He still struggles with being around people 5 years after his release.

    Thanks to Brian for letting me in to his life for a few hours.

    See/hear story here: http://www.npr.org/2015/06/11/413208055/from-solitary-to-the-streets-released-inmates-get-little-help

    and here: https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/06/11/from-solitary-to-the-street

  • Recent Work: Horween Leather Chicago for Monocle

  • Archives: 2015

  • Archives: 2015

  • Archives: 2015