This has been a nice, long walk to get here. Here being the beginning of a project from which I’ve been assembling materials and ideas throughout the pandemic.
I made a joke to myself a while back that goes “if you don’t have someone to play with, play with yourself.” And then I laughed to myself. And so, I’ve created the Theoretical Audio Laboratory in which to conduct my experiments. Sound Experiments (SEx)! And even Song Experiments.
This is turning out to be quite a hoot. Stay tuned. Or, detuned. Please stay!
Following up on my previous Found & Chosen post, I found these letters over the course of several days’ walking. I’ve deducted that these were thrown away by contractors renovating an old house, and they must have blown out of a dumpster. I’ve obscured the corresponder’s names.
These scraps stirred my imagination, and I toyed with scripting them into an animation – both, literally read, and loosely based upon the content of these papers. I didn’t get anywhere interesting, so I’ll shelve the idea for now. The actual papers went into a time capsule my girlfriend made to archive the pandemic time in our life.
I find the following letters very intriguing!
Water based ink from a fountain pen, inspirational quotes, and a lost tobacco pouch. Love AND Joy.
I learned this about the Hudson River State Hospital.
The Hudson River State Hospital, is a former New York state psychiatric hospital which operated from 1873 until its closure in the early 2000s. The campus is notable for its main building, known as a “Kirkbride,” which has been designated a National Historic Landmark due to its exemplary High Victorian Gothic architecture, the first use of that style for an American institutional building. It is located on US 9 on the Poughkeepsie-Hyde Park town line. The entire facility was built over the last three decades of the 19th century, at great cost. Once complete, it would be used as intended for much of the first half of the next century. As psychiatry moved away from inpatient treatments, it began to decline in use until its closure at century’s end. Today, it is slowly deteriorating out of public view as it awaits reuse.
I was invited to participate in a diorama project called The Yonder Cabinet by Kelley Bell and Melissa Penley Cormier, where “a card catalog reimagined as a collection of artists’ interpretations of their favorite literary places.” I received a box which can fit inside a retired library card catalog.
I had a hard time choosing what illustrate. Wandering through my favorite books, I came up with several great diorama scene candidates.
Jack Audrey and Stephen Maturin playing music in Jack’s cabin of the HMS Surprise, from one of Patrick O’Brian’s novels
The five horsemen in Terry Pratchett’s The Thief of Time, riding out against the auditors.
Miniature War on his horse in his back yard, surveying a battle of ants, while Death looks on. Also from The Thief of Time
Martin Chatwin as the Beast in Lev Grossman’s The Magicians
Fat Charlie talking to the Bird Woman in Anansi Boys
A scene from The Sandman
Hopefully you get the idea.
I chose a passage from Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I love this book, and Clarke’s approach to magic.
In this part of the story, Mr. Strange walks into a mirror, and travels on the King’s Road to a woman’s sitting room. This road belonged to John Uskglass, also known as the Black King, the King of the North, and most commonly, the Raven King. He was the ruler of Northern England for over 300 years and is accredited with bringing magic to England.
I made this diorama from memory, as I couldn’t place my hands on my old copy of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I mistakenly remembered the Mirror being over the fireplace. I only realized the error after it wad complete.
I enjoyed making this very much. I believe the final catalog will be on view at Maryland Art Place.
Launched in 2015 to facilitate a new kind of interdisciplinary collaboration, each 7×7 invites one visual artist and one writer to engage in a two-week creative conversation. The format, inspired by Surrealist games of the early 20th century, challenges participants to improvise, in their respective disciplines, a spontaneous story that pushes into ever-wilder imaginative terrain. Every finished 7×7 is singular, unclassifiable, and wholly original.
Finding Surrealist games irresistable, I signed up.
Beginning March 1st, Olivia Kingery and I began to volley work back and forth for 14 days. The full results of our collaboration can be found ______. It would be inappropriate and a copyright violation for me to share the completed game here, but I can share my side of the road.