I/land (a vast interior landscape) is an ogoing, multi-volume book work, conceived as a spectral archive with public encounters. The project began in 2011 with a photographic study on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos, Greece. This preliminary work—20 pairings of images with text fragments—captures a critical 48-hour journey to the fatherland. Nostos: a homecoming, a return. A humble attempt to reconcile origin and identity as the son of a Greek man from Agia Paraskevi, a small town at the center of the island.

With Study for a film set on an island as the conceptual starting point for I/land, I will return to Lesvos, birthplace of Sappho, for a three-month research residency to submerge myself in the interior landscape of the place. Using techniques developed by John Cage and adapted in my own work, I will create a methodology for chance-determined research—a rulebook for place-based discovery. A combination of chance operations, found narrative, Sappho’s work and personal memory—as well my 2011 photography—will guide my movement through the territory, using the island as a game board of indeterminacy.

The island of Lesvos presents its landscape and people as evidence of its own deep history, both a full-scale archive of itself and a found object of inquiry within the container of personal memory. My goal to explore Lesvos as a vast interior landscape is a test—a dare to use the boundaries of the island as reverse limits to unconscious expression. Entering the space of the island becomes a journey inward and out, an inside-out search for “I”, placing myself both on and removing myself from the land.

The three-month residency on Lesvos will be used to search for public records, data, personal memories and ephemera. Connections will be indexed and mapped to expose real and imagined associations, dreams and other arcs, as narratives are built. During the residency I will photograph, write and fully document my experience on the island.

I/land will eventually manifest as a performative archive—a translational series of bound, print-on-demand works that will be used to engage in public book encounters. Ultimately, the entire work will be given away and disappear, the archive absorbed back into the territory from which it was created.

1 A vast interior landscape.
2 Entrance scene: corridor.
3 Island spirits.
4 Fear of impossible spaces.
5 Evidence.
6 Signs, remain.
7 A house at the center of the island.
8 An archive.
9 Telephone call, two male voices.
10 Encounter scene (stationery shot, empty plateia).
11 Performance. A question of identity.
12 The Kastro, 1540.
13 Inside-out space. To look out from but not to be seen (two shots).
15 Preparation, welcome.
16 Re-introduction of reunion scene (memory sketch).
17 Language of the other.
18 Ghost.
19 Scene from a distance.
20 Final reunion, souvenir.

Study for a film set on an island. (PDF)