I used our open studio as an opportunity to organize the images and text voices that I’m collecting, annotated and bound by clothespins. Book work parts. Twenty-two elements so far:
- back to god’s country
- there’s one bird
- just in front of me
- take three, three cards
- Fjörds, on the sea
- einbúi (the one who lives alone)
- (19–22) yeah, because we are just, we have our families, we have our connections, strong old friendship ties
Up on the wall, the 18 chancewords, and the map.
- svartfugl—common name for alcids
- blikka—flash (the headlights)
- tæmandi—exhaustive description
- flan—rash action
- austar—further east/more easterly
- hornauga—take a dim view of, look askance
- sveipa—wrap up, cover
- samþykkja—agree, approve
I asked Linda Hentze, 18, who lives here in Skagaströnd, if I could hijack her Instagram feed for my project, and she graciously said yes. Collecting voices here.
Fjords, on the sea, which is visible at their original position of two factory direction of a shop, and is a short display of irregular perspection of which, further up, opens in Stranda Syssel, receding houses, a shop, and thrown down, and is pleasantly situated by the to both sides striking resemblance in every now and snow-cappearance in every now and snow-cappearance top of Spákonufell, the summit of the top of a fort, and thrown down, and to both sides striking vallies.
Near Höskuldstad is the H North Cape. Behind to both sides stretch a range of which still occupy they are broken every now and is the north Cape. Behind the rocks; some of which rise the prospection. The factory is pleasantly situated about in every now and is their original position of irregular columnar rocks, you have a fine projections, which rise the opposition of which, furthers a most bears a most beautiful display of which, furthern terminated by into the spacious gulf, where the walls of which is a small creek, fort.
Near Höskuldstad is a striking resemblance in irregular columnar rocks; some of irregular perspect of two factory consists of the summit of which still occupy the promontories and lie scattered about in every dwelling in the summit of a fine promontories and then by the sea, where the factory consists of lower mountain of a range of a ridge of Spákonufell, the rocks, you have a fine prospect of which rise they are broken every now and othern terminated by the sea, which a ridge of which are terminate
Syssel, receding in every dwelling vallies.
Near Höskuldstad is pleasantly situated by they are the bold projections, where termination of which, further up, opens intervening resemblance. From the top of which still the walls of which are broken every now and Hruta Fjords, on they are broken every now and the high mountains into the walls of the spacious gulf, where terminated about in irregular perspection. The factory consists of a fine promontories and to then by the to the spacious gulf, which a Cape. Behind the summit of a fort, and is pleasantly situated at a small creek, formed by into the bold prospect of which bears are terminated by the summit of a stretch are broken every direction. The factory is a shop, and is the high mountains, which still occupy the rocks, the prospective till occupy the spacious gulf, which still occupy the prospect of the opposition. The factory is the opposition. The factory dwelling houses, and is visible at the bold promontories and three or four warehouses.
Markhov chain text generated by Almar Freyr. Seed text from Iceland: Or, The Journal of a Residence in that Island, During the Years 1814 and 1815, Ebenezer Henderson, 1819 (the single paragraph beginning “The factory consists of two dwelling-houses…”):
Today marks the 14th day of chancewords in my studio in Skagaströnd. Every morning, I generate an Icelandic word from a printed Íslensk-Ensk dictionary that I found, like this—
- The dictionary is on pages that are numbered 15–425. Using random.org I generate a number to choose one of these pages.
- Each page has two columns, so I generate a 1 or 2 to select the column.
- I then count the number of words [x] in that column and generate a number from 1 to x to select the chanceword.
The words are of the language and the meanings are of the place. Icelandic is a notoriously closed system with very few loanwords, and it’s not spoken widely outside of Iceland. The chancewords procedure is a site-specific machine to generate meaning. Slow poetry, or chapters, or maybe this is just another voice in the town. I don’t know what I’ll do with these just yet.
The two colors were chosen from this photograph of einbúi, the rock at the harbor that’s named “the one who lives alone” (from my meeting with Magnús the mayor).
I’m transcribing a 1.5 hour meeting with the mayor of Skagaströnd. I just walked into his office and asked him to tell me about the town. He gave me his version of the history of the place, from sixteenth-century Danish trading post until now, by describing the evolution of the fishing industry and how it created and transformed Skagaströnd.
That same day, I visited the Museum of Prophecies, dedicated to Þórdís, the tenth-century soothsayer who was one of the early settlers of the area. And I had a tarot card reading from one of the town fortune tellers.
One meeting about the past, leading up to the present, the other very much of the present moment, looking at the future.
I recorded both. I’ve been looking for some kind of narrative thread for the project, and these two voices are powerful, maybe even more so if paired together. Both are intense views—one looking out at the town, the other looking in, at me, in the town. Dual vision within the space of a few hours. My instinct is to merge the two voices. They’re both descriptive, highly interpretive, very much of the place. They’re both seers.
The interior voice—
Take three, three cards
You have to choose wisely
A lot of people around you
Good card, very good
I start here
Here is two persons that is very close to you, they are
Yes, they are very similar, personal, persons, because they both came as a sword
The exterior voice—
And you know always when we have crisis, a self-sustainable thinking comes up
And that was exactly what came up here
The economists looked at this village and said oh
There’s enough land here, we have our big bay, with a lot of fishery, so there is a possibility to build up a town here, a herring town
so it was really thought out, there was an agenda
He said, yeah, he came back to the government and his report said
We could build you know like a utopia town here, in this village
So the idea was utopia
At the top of Spákonufell mountain is a box. The box contains a book to sign, a stone to touch, a kite, a fading letter, pens and a slot for coins. If you make it to the top of the mountain this box, which looks like a treasure from the outside, is more like a set of instructions: unwrap the book from its plastic, sign it, rub the stone, fly the kite, leave something behind. I signed the book (date, name, “NYC”) but Liz and Paris didn’t, and on the way down we talked about it. Why sign the book?
My first thought was: I leave a trace and I’m reassured that my recorded presence is known to a future audience.
It’s publishing, no? A collaborative book. Add to the book. Any kind of publishing is temporal—this particular information was put down, posted, broadcast at a specific time, for the future audience. It’s a difference between publishing and performance. An audience is usually present for a performance, or witnessing in some kind of synchronous way. In publishing the audience is asynchronous. I post for the future. Make a post, posted to the mountain. When it’s site-specific, add the idea of place. Geo-temporal. Geography, physical presence, x marks the spot, “I was here,” at this moment.
Later, someone else will be here.
I saw where Ellen and Phil signed the book five days earlier. And there’s a photo of a dog on the mountain, taped to the book in the box on the mountain, 2 August 2009.
Time and place set a story in motion, but the book doesn’t move. It’s understood that the objects in the box don’t leave. People come and go at the top of the mountain but this is like one of those flight recorder boxes, traveling with the plane, holding some of the information, traces, parts of stories.
There’s a kite in the box. Bound up in the kite is the choreography of each flight, the wind pulling on one end, a human on the other, the energy wound up in the chord and returned to its sleeve, returned to the box. The energy of an entire mountain below. The box is a battery.
And this fading letter that someone left behind. Another story there but not there, bound up in paper. Potentiality.
I’m okay not knowing what the author intended. But I’m curious about the conditions that brought the letter to the box. Was it written on the spot? Something spontaneous. Or did the note travel up the mountain with its author, purposefully. I can see only a few lines more clearly than the rest, “To be a part of it / To be a part of it / I am a part of it.”
Something about that box connects to this photo album I photographed last week. The librarian walked over and said, “Oh you’re photographing the blank pages too.” The book is the whole container, storage for the parts. Book as box, box as battery, stored energy.
5 July 2013
9:22 am – 9:33 am
There’s one bird, flying away from me, now he just circled, it just circled, and it’s coming back, it’s a tern, it’s above the horizon about 30 degrees, and now it’s flown away from me, directly north, but I can still see it. Directly to my right are three people, one in a bright light green jacket and there furthest away and just below the horizon line of the cliff so I can only see the upper half of that person’s body, I can’t tell if it’s a man or a woman, I can’t tell if any of them are male or female. The person in the middle looks smaller, just raised their hand, and it might be a child in a dark blue sweatshirt with a hood and dark pants. Directly to his right, I think it’s a boy, is someone in a white sweatshirt and now the three of them, who might actually be three children are all walking towards me on the rocks, and they might be, yes they’re all children. And I’m facing directly northwest. N for north, V for west and on the compass in front of me, it says ______ for north, ______, and for northwest, _______. So I am facing away from the town, directly away from the town one hundred eighty degrees looking towards the sea. And the rocks, I’m sort of at a, at a high point, now it looks like the three the three children are calling a bird, there’s a bird near them, and they’re making a sound and the child in the the boy in the light blue-green jacket was making a sound and cupping his hands to his to his face as though he’s calling the bird and they are closer now, walking towards me and walking towards the yellow stone structure at the high point of the cliffs. And actually I think it’s a girl.
So I’m facing the sea and the rocks from this high point I’m definitely at a high point where this compass is, and these rocks continue in front of me to the sea. I see directly in front of me one ridge and then it drops, and I keep turning my head to the children, and I cause I hear the bird calls over there and I see that they’re now walking back to where they were, away from me. And to my left a small bird chasing a large bird, flying away from me.
So the stone ridge that drops a little further ahead of me, drops to a sort of middle plane, or the next plane of stone of rocks that are about that are sort of a flat area, an easier to walk area. And that continues down further, I see another area where it seems to drop, yes it’s another cliff, but then there’s an area just in the middle where it’s not a steep drop and it looks like that’s where one could walk down further to a third—hey—one of the terns was just flying directly at me, it looked like he was coming right at me so I raised my hand and it flew away to my left and now it’s flying back away. And it’s circling and it might be coming back, but it’s not it’s circling, flying back towards the sea, and now back in circles.
And up towards the horizon and up above and I see another tern flying with it, and it’s flying along the horizon and then towards the sea again, and then in a circle, and it’s flying again in a circle, a little bit closer to me, and it’s landing, no it’s not landing, it’s just flying down towards the—oh it’s flying right at me—whoa—I had to swoop, it swooped but I had to raise my hand at it and maybe I shouldn’t stand here, I’m wearing yellow pants and maybe that is some kind of warning signal to the birds, that bird is definitely agitated, circling I think it’s doing some kind of routine of circling and then watching and then coming back at me, so I’m watching it and and here it comes again, it’s flying right at me—and I put my hand up and it turns and flies away. I, I think it’s it’s trying to scare me.
And just now when I put my hand up and here it comes again, I’m gonna have to do it again, I raised my hand, and I’m, I hit the metal compass and it and I cut myself slightly on my middle finger, just a slight scrape with a little bit of blood coming out of it. And I’m, I guess now I’m just watching that one bird that seems to be focused on me, and there’s another one with it, and they’re coming back, but flying to my right now, and they seem to be flying away. And I keep raising my middle finger to my mouth and trying to—oooh—that bird just surprised me again and came right at me. (Sigh.) So, I guess I’m not really wanted up here as far as the birds are concerned, this is a I think a bird nesting area and this one bird is definitely agitated by my presence and I guess I just have to keep watching, so it’s back out towards the sea, flying over three large rocks one of them is a peninsula, and then a large rock just beyond it and then a smaller rock just protruding from the water just beyond it. And I’m watching the bird circle, it’s coming back along the three rocks, it’s flying along parallel to the shore line, circling back towards the water, back and now it’s coming at me again, here it comes—it’s coming right at me—hand up—and it flies away. Okay, I think I’ll move.
Just in front of me, one two three four five six seven eight nine ten houses, eleven. Just near the eleventh house, which is the smallest, two people walking towards me, each one wearing a fuchsia or a magenta top, I think they’re girls, they’re walking on the right side of the street, two of them, one of them just skipped, it’s a long road, that goes out of town, it follows the shore, but then goes straight out of town, towards the mountain. Spákonafell.
To my left a horse, it’s walking a dark horse, black or a dark grey, it’s walking across a field, walking towards a few other horses, one two three four. There are two walls, at a right angle, and a patch of dirt in-between the walking horse, and the four other horses.
They’re in a field all the way to my left.
So the eleven houses just in front of me are the last houses before leaving this part of town. One all the way to my left is very light grey, with a blue roof, and an empty driveway. Across from that a smaller white house, cream, with a red corrugated metal roof, and one white chimney. It has a dark red or wood fence surrounding the back of the house. There’s a woman walking on the street, blonde hair, middle-aged, black pants, she just made a left, and is now walking across the grass.
Okay closer to me, a white, a larger house, white, a clay or light-brick colored corrugated metal roof, it’s a large roof, next to it, a white house, again corrugated metal, and the roof is metal, it’s grey, metal color. And there’s a white door, on the second floor, onto a very small balcony. That’s on the curving street that’s just in front of me.
That woman now is on a dirt road, the next road over, she’s continuing to walk at a, sort of medium pace. Those two girls in the pink tops, are now walking down the street, and it seems as though they will meet the middle-aged woman when their two streets intersect, when they get to the intersection of the two streets, which will be directly behind 1 Mánabraut, which is where I am staying.
Across the street from the house with the metal roof is another white house. This one is in worse condition, with lots of peeling white paint, and a very dark red paint underneath that’s starting to show, that is showing.
Okay the middle-aged woman got to the point, to the intersection first and is now ahead of the two girls in the pink tops. And she’s continuing towards town, taking a short cut behind two buildings, through a dirt parking lot. The girls are walking slowly, slower.
Now, to my left, coming out from behind the rocks where I can’t see, two people, I think these are two artists headed towards one of the artist’s houses, they are, they’re cutting across the lawn. A taller man, I think his name is Karl, with white hair, from Sweden, and a smaller woman, and they’re at the front door now and they’re entering the house.
Now a black SUV is headed down the street, it passed the two girls who are now almost all the way down at the end of the street, directly in front of the fishing ship. The black SUV is making a left and turning into the curved street that’s closest to me, it’s going very slowly.
There are two people in the car. It’s continuing to my right, past the three houses directly in front of me, past a very large, the largest one, in this part, it might be two houses actually with a bright blue roof, the black SUV is continuing, it didn’t stop at any of these houses. It’s curved away on the road as it leaves the cliffs and heads over to the large white building with the blue roof at the very edge where the town meets the water and the cliffs, next to the harbor.
A bird with an even pitched signal, or, it’s not a song exactly, it’s like a on-off-on-off beeping. It’s absolutely even, and it continues. In front of me on that long road, coming out in the distance from the mountain is a light-colored white SUV, it might be silver, and it just made a left, and it’s headed down Mánabraut, it just stopped and pulled over, into a long white, into the driveway, or parking area, in front of a long L-shaped white building with dark red trim and a metal roof.
To my right that black SUV, it had pulled into a parking lot there, and it’s now come back out and it’s it’s on the street that runs parallel to the shore, the one that heads straight into the center of town, but it’s making a right, it’s going into the harbor area, where the large FISK ship is, next to the large silver building, I think it’s the tallest building in Skagaströnd, with the blue eagle on it. The blue eagle faces town, away from the water.
I can see in the in the far distance, well, in my middle distance, between here and the center of town, the two girls in pink are now on that road that follows the shoreline, into the center of town, they’re probably walking to town.
And a light brown, reddish-brown small car is going pretty fast down the road diagonally away from me, and it’s made a left onto that same road that follows the shore into town.
I hear a sound like like an airplane, but I doubt that that’s an airplane flying around here, it might be, or it might be a car on a road that I can’t see. That bird with the even pitched beeping sound continues. I hear other birds too. Chirping.
The flat-topped mountain, Spákonafell, is totally visible. The clouds are above it and not obscuring it. There are dark, darkish, a medium dark directly above the flat top, but then closer to me, some patches where the blue sky is visible, and covering the entire town, fairly thick white, from bright white to a dark grey, areas of of thick clouds with very small patches, holes really, where the blue sky is visible. And the sun is above, above me and to the right slightly, it’s just outside of my, my view, my peripheral vision, slightly. So I have to tilt my head up about 20 degrees to actually see the direct sun, which is behind the clouds, but at this point right now the clouds are pretty thin and the sun is shining through them.
There’s a compass in front of me and it looks like the sun is south, almost directly south, southeast. The compass is labeled S for south, N for north where I’m standing, A for east, and V for west. And I am facing southeast looking directly at the town.
In the harbor where the large FISK ship is, I can hear some machinery, like a, a forklift, or some kind of, yeah I can see it moving, it’s a, it’s a forklift, moving things around, large crates or boxes, it looks like it’s moving them from the left side to the right side of the area next to the ship, and just to the right of that in the street in front going very slowly is a figure on a bicycle with something bright red or pink on the head, and a jacket almost the same color. And all the way to my right past the cliffs headed directly away from town, and out to sea, a very small fishing boat, and it’s leaving a wake a very slight wake, because the water’s pretty still with no, almost no movement, or any visible signs of movement on the surface. And the ship is headed directly west, towards the western fjörds, which I can see if I turn around and look behind me.
And that man who went into the artist’s house has now left and i think the front door is open, the white-haired man, and he’s moving, he’s walking down the road, away from the house, away from town, and it looks actually he just turned, and it looks like he’s walking, up a little bit towards the cliffs where i’m standing, and he’s bent down and he’s picking something, he’s picking something off the ground. Like picking flowers or grasses.
And the wind just picked up a little bit, it’s colder, and it’s coming from the north and I can feel it coming behind me, and I see a black SUV again a different one this time, I think, has come on the street two streets directly in front of me and come back around all the way towards all the way to the right where the large white building with the blue roof, there’s another sort of yellow building with a light green metallic roof, right on the water, it pulled up very quickly, the black jeep in front of it, and, somebody a figure has left and got out very quickly and has entered a small doorway in what looks like in what appears to be a large indentation in the front of the building which looks like it’s in bad shape, like that would have been a cargo bay or some kind of garage type door, it’s right on the water, i can’t tell how far off how high up off the water it is, the figure just came back out, closed the door and is getting back in the black SUV, but then came back around is opening the trunk, and a bird two birds turns, flying directly west, between me and the jeep, which is now moving, turning around, coming back out from that parking area in front of that car, and is headed back driving now towards me, at the same time a white van is headed away from me on the diagonal street that heads towards the road that follows the shore and it’s making a left to go back to town.
The black jeep has now made a right and is on the diagonal not the diagonal but the street the street that’s two streets in front of me, and its lights are on and it’s now crossed the diagonal street and is now headed directly east away from me but now made a right to go down Mánabraut. Directly behind 1 Mánabraut, where I’m living, the yellow house with the red roof, there are three people mowing the lawn, a large area of grass. One is wearing a yellow green fluorescent vest, the one in the middle is wearing a bright orange fluorescent orange vest pushing a yellow lawn mower and to the left, the third person who is smaller is not wearing a fluorescent vest but some kind of light blue jacket, is pushing a red and black lawn mower. And they’re all the way at the edge of the lawn, the right edge, far as far away from 1 Mánabraut as they can be, and still be on the grass. And it looks like they’re moving over to the next lawn, to the next lawn over. Behind them is a building, a low white building with a red and white roof, and directly behind that a red, a small red car is coming, driving at a medium speed. While directly in front of me in the street just in front a dark grey van turned and came and turned into a house directly in front of me. The small brown-red car turned into a house not one of the eleven that I counted earlier but perhaps this is the twelfth one because it’s the next closest one outside of that group of eleven, and that red car or brown-red car pulled into the driveway behind the house, or maybe this is the front of the house, and this is a house with a light grey or white stucco siding and a blue corrugated roof and the door has opened, and someone is still inside.
One two three four five six seven eight nine ten eleven, there’s a twelfth one to my right, that is just out of my view but I can see a small patch of corrugated metal roof, so there are actually twelve houses in this area, just in front of me, on the road closest to the cliffs, plus two that are across the street from this area.
So the road, so the house with the car with the open door, with the blue roof, is actually the thirteenth, then working away from me, behind that one, is a fourteenth house, it’s long it’s long it’s white and it has a red corrugated roof so that’s fourteen, and then fifteen sixteen seventeen seventeen is 1 Manabraut where I’m staying and it’s yellow, eighteen, nineteen twenty twenty-one twenty-two twenty-three twenty-four twenty-five twenty-six twenty-seven twenty-eight twenty-nine thirty thirty-one thirty-two thirty-three thirty-four thirty-five thirty-six thirty-seven thirty-eight thirty-nine forty forty is the pool, forty-one is a very small building a shack almost, in front of the pool with a white car in front of it that’s forty-one forty-two forty-three forty-four forty-five forty-five is the white cube house that I can see out the front window at 1 Mánabraut and I can see it now standing by itself in a field far back from the road that follows the shore.
Forty-two forty-three forty-four forty-five forty-six forty-seven. Forty-seven is just now at the very edge of the center of the town and here it gets a little harder to distinguish between the different houses but I can count the roofs. Forty-eight forty-nine fifty fifty-one fifty-two fifty-two is the supermarket oh no it’s not, fifty-three fifty-four fifty-five fifty-five is the supermarket and fifty-six is the school, not the school but the sports center. Fifty-seven fifty-eight, a man carrying a white barrel, a plastic tub crossing the field headed directly southeast away from me on a desire line I can see the path treaded into the grass so it must be a line headed from a house I don’t know if it’s his house across he’s crossing the street and now on the very large lawn behind number 1 and number 3 Mánabraut and he’s crossing that lawn.
Fifty-nine, sixty sixty-one sixty-two sixty-three sixty-four sixty-five sixty-six sixty-six is the oldest house in Skagaströnd built in 1899, sixty-seven is the cafe, sixty-eight is the building next to the studio sixty-nine is the studio seventy is no it’s not the gas station, seventy-one is the large pink-red building that used to be a shrimp processing building, factory or plant. I don’t know if that was fifty-seven or fifty-eight I think that was fifty-eight fifty-nine sixty sixty-one sixty-two sixty-three sixty-four sixty-five sixty-six that’s all the way out towards the southeastern-most edge of town, I’m losing track of the numbers sixty-eight, okay sixty-nine is the strange pyramid house seventy seventy-one seventy-two seventy-three seventy-four seventy-five seventy-six is the church. I can’t see the fortune-telling museum, the museum of prophecy but I’ll count that as seventy-eight seventy-nine eighty eighty-one eighty-two eighty-three eighty-four eighty-five eighty-six eighty-seven eighty-eight eighty-nine ninety ninety-one ninety-two ninety-three ninety-four ninety-five ninety-six ninety-seven ninety-eight ninety-nine a hundred a hundred and one a hundred and two a hundred three a hundred four a hundred five a hundred six a hundred seven a hundred nine hundred ten hundred eleven hundred twelve a hundred thirteen a hundred fourteen a hundred fifteen a hundred sixteen
The library, more of a reading room, is remarkable. Pristine, meticulously organized. Absolutely serene. Olli showed me his project to digitize the community’s large collection of old photographs, left to the town by a long-time resident who passed away. I asked if I could photograph them. Olli agreed.
I brought over my tripod and camera and spent the morning capturing five spectacular albums of images. A few hundred photographs sprinkled across the twentieth century. A long, deep view into Skagaströnd.
When I arrived someone told me that Skagaströnd is not the kind of place where you come and grab. That it resists grabbing. But I grabbed all morning (carefully), taking these images as my own. It felt good, like I’d found an artery. I guess that’s my way in.
Afternoon—I brought a sheet of paper to the black sand beach, in the rain. Submerged it and coated it with black sand and seawater. Collected seaweed. Long red-yellow-green sheets of beach lasagna, like flat fish.
I’ve decided to use chance operations to select one word, every day, from the Icelandic-English dictionary that I found at the house. To be incorporated into the work, daily, as a guide, to provide friction, or whatever. Today’s word is bensín (gas, petrol). Fuel.
This poem. A handwritten note that I found hanging in the studio kitchen.
My photo of David Horvitz’s photo taken in Iceland, sent to me by Taeyoon Choi, in my apartment.
I leave in a few days to do a public book project in a small town in northern Iceland. And for the last few months, I’ve been thinking about what to bring. The artist’s residency sent tips about bringing supplies, and friends have suggested various things, like picking a few significant tools or objects and shipping them beforehand, so that they’re waiting for me when I arrive.
Just in the last week, I decided that I should bring nothing. Whatever I’m going to make will come from the place, and I’m going to leave the work there. So it just makes sense that everything should happen there, during my eleven-week stay. I’ll bring a computer and camera and my clothes, of course, but if I need supplies, I’ll find them. I’m going to spend a few days in Reykjavik, where there’s a good art supply store, before driving north. But mostly, I want to use found materials, on-site in and around Skagaströnd. I don’t want to predetermine what process or form the work will take until I’m there, reacting to places and people.
I’m just going to show up.
But I am going to bring one thing. This one photograph. Here’s how I got the photograph.
A few months ago, artist Taeyoon Choi tweeted this prompt.
going to walk across the park and write a letter to stranger. let me know your address. http://t.co/fq2wQKLPbs
— Taeyoon Choi (@tchoi8) April 17, 2013
The stranger was me. I responded almost immediately with my address.
A few days later I received a very small envelope from Taeyoon in the mail, containing a note, written on both sides, a couple of tiny twigs, and this one photograph by David, folded up. The note was quite moving—some observations about what was going on in the park, on one side, and some internal thoughts, on the other. Taeyoon didn’t know that I was planning a trip to Iceland, but the photo that he included happened to be one that David had taken in Iceland.
Taeyoon’s photo of David’s photo.
Using the information on the road signs I located the scene on google maps. It’s on the route between Reykjavik and Skagaströnd, where I’m headed.
View Iceland 2013 in a larger map
So I’ll take the photo back to Iceland. I don’t know what I’ll do with it. I consider it a collaborative prompt. A chain reaction. David was in a specific place, and took a photo, marking himself in that place. He sent it to Taeyoon, who sent it to me, and now I’m taking it back to that place, completing some kind of loop (and setting other loops in motion).
A chance encounter between three artists, connected by a photograph, in three places, in two countries, via mail and twitter and mail and flying and driving. It contains a world of information. The way Taeyoon folded the photograph. The numbers, the roads, the distance, the colors, placenames on a map.
So I’ll take the photo back to Iceland and see what happens.