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#11

#11

The New Yorker’s Photo Booth blog says my Las Meninas project is one of their twelve reasons to visit the NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1 this weekend. Happy and honored to be mentioned in good company with Elisabeth Tonnard, Erik van der Wejde, Gordon Matta-ClarkRobert Mapplethorpe and others.

Come find me at table #Q47! Or purchase Las Meninas right here. Half of the edition has already sold.

Friday, September 20, 12–7pm
Saturday, September 21, 11–9pm
Sunday, September 22, 11–7pm (I will only be there from 11–2pm on Sunday)

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One kilometer at 60kph

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One kilometer at 60kph three days after the death of Walter de Maria, on the birthday of Marcel Duchamp, on route 744 between Sauðárkrókur and Skagaströnd, Iceland. 28 July 2013, 3:11pm. 21 photographs. Paul Soulellis and Kathryn Sawyer. (#1 and 21 above.)

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23 self-portraits

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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.

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This photograph

My photo of David Horvitz’s photo taken in Iceland, sent to me by Taeyoon Choi, in my apartment.

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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.

The stranger was me. I responded almost immediately with my address.

Unknown to me, Taeyoon had just received a few hundred photographs from David Horvitz (who I had recently met), and decided to use them in this mailart project.

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.

Which way?

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.

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The order of things.

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He looks at us inside the space of the mirror.

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The image hunter

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  1. We owe ourselves to death.
  2. Prendre une photographie, to take a photograph, prendre en photographie, to take a photograph but also to take in photography: is this translatable?
  3. At what moment does a photograph come to be taken?
  4. And taken by whom?
  5. I am perhaps in the process, with my words, of making off with his photographs, of taking from him the photographs that he once took.
  6. Can one appropriate another’s mourning?
  7. And if a photograph is taken as one takes on mourning [prend le deuil], that is, in separation, how would such a theft be possible?
  8. But then also, how could such a theft be avoided?
  9. I have always associated such delayed action [retardement] with the experience of the photographer.
  10. Not with photography but with the photographic experience of an “image hunter.”
  11. Before the snapshot or instamatic [instantané] that, from the lens or objective, freezes for near eternity what is naively called an image, there would thus be this delayed action.
  12. Everything is going to be in place in just a moment, at any moment now [incessamment], presently or at present, so that, later, a few moments from now, another present to come will be taken by surprise by the click and will be forever fixed, reproducible, archivable, saved or lost for this present time.
  13. One does not yet know what the image will give or show, but the interval must be objectively calculable, a certain technology is required, and this is perhaps the origin or the essence of technology.
  14. Has he not set up in front of him, in front of you, an archaic figure of this delay mechanism?
  15. Did he not decide, after some reflection, to photograph photography and its photographer, in order to let everything that has to do with photography be seen, in order to bookmark everything in this book?
  16. He would have set the animal-machine on a Delphic tripod.
  17. As in an antique store, make an inventory of everything you can count up around this photographer.
  18. Configured on the scene or stage of a single image, accumulated in the studied disorder of a prearranged taxonomy, there’s an example, a representative, a sample of all visible aspects, of all the species, idols, or simulacra of possible things, of “ideas,” if you will, of all those shown in this book.
  19. The living human, the photographer himself or his model, the one as the other, the one producing or re-producing the other, the one as the generator or the progenitor of the other.
  20. An archeology of photography.
  21. And then so many abyssal or reflecting screens.
  22. These representations, these photographs of photographs (these phantasmata, as Plato would have hastened to say, and that is why one can no longer count here, no longer count on this process of reflection, for as soon as you count on it you can no longer count, you lose your head or you lose the logos), these copies of copies that you can see in two places, at once in front of the photographer, on the body of the camera set on the tripod, and behind, behind the back of the photographer, under the parasol—these are perhaps some of the photographs of the book.
  23. The book announces itself in this way.
  24. When, exactly, does a shot [prise de due] take place?
  25. When, exactly, is it taken?
  26. And thus where?
  27. Given the workings of a delay mechanism, given the “time lag” or “time difference,” if I can put it this way, is the photograph taken when the photographer takes the thing in view and focuses on it, when he adjusts the diaphragm and sets the timing mechanism, or else when the click signals the capture and the impression?
  28. Or later still, at the moment of development?
  29. And should we give in to the vertigo of this metonymy and this infinite mirroring when they draw us into the folds of an endless reflexivity?
  30. Imagine him, yes him, through the images he has “taken.”
  31. Walking along the edge, as I said just a moment ago, of the abyss of his images, I am retracing the footsteps of the photographer.
  32. He bears in advance the mourning for a city owed to death, a city due for death, and two or three times rather than one, according to different temporalities: mourning for an ancient, archeological, or mythological city, to be sure, mourning for a city that is gone and that shows the body of its ruins; but also mourning for a city that he knows, as he is photographing it, in the present of his snapshots, will be gone or will disappear tomorrow, a city that is already condemned to pass away and whose witnesses have, indeed, disappeared since the “shot” was taken; and finally, the third anticipated mourning, he knows that other photographs have captured sights that, though still visible today, at the present time, at the time this book appears, will have to be destroyed tomorrow.
  33. They are threatened with death or promised to death.
  34. Three deaths, three instances, three temporalities of death in the eyes of photography—or if you prefer, since photography makes appear in the light of the phainesthai, three “presences” of disappearance, three phenomena of the being that has “disappeared” or is”gone”: the first before the shot, the second since the shot was taken, and the last later still, for another day, though it is imminent, after the appearance of the print.
  35. But if the imminence of what is thus due for death suspends the coming due, as the epoch of every photograph does, it signs at the same time the verdict.
  36. It confirms and seals its ineluctable authority: this will have to die, the mise en demure is underway, notification has been given, the countdown has already started, there is only a delay, the time to photograph, though when it comes to death no one even dreams of escaping it—or dreams that anything will be spared.
  37. I am thinking of the death of Socrates, of the Phaedo and the Crito. Of the incredible reprieve that delayed the date of execution for so many days after the judgment.
  38. They awaited the sails, their appearance off in the distance, in the light, at a precise, unique, and inevitable moment—fatal like a click.

Thirty-eight selections from Athens, Still Remains, Jacques Derrida.

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Library of the Printed Web

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Library of the Printed Web is a collection of works by artists who use screen capture, image grab, site scrape and search query to create printed matter from content found on the web. LotPW includes self-published artists’ books, photo books, texts and other print works gathered around the casual concept of “search, compile and publish.”

Artists featured in LotPW drive through vast landscapes of data to collect and transform digital information, visual and otherwise, into analog experience; every work in the collection is a printed expression of search engine pattern discovery. Many of the works in LotPW share common production and publishing techniques (i.e., print-on-demand), even as the content itself varies widely.

I’ve assembled this set of materials because I see evidence of a strong, emerging web-to-print-based artistic practice based on the search engine and other algorithmic operations; as this view matures, the inventory of LotPW may grow to reflect new concepts and methodologies.

Rather than draw boundaries or define a new aesthetic with LotPW, I posit this presentation of printed artifacts as a reference tool for studying shifting relationships between the web (as culture), the artist (as archivist) and print publishing (as a new/old self-serve schema for expressing the archive).

Library of the Printed Web exists both as a physical collection of book works and as an online representation of these works. The permanent collection is based in Long Island City, NY and includes one copy of each item in the inventory, except where noted. LotPW will launch as a table-top presentation at Theorizing the Web, CUNY Graduate Center, 1–2 March 2013.

Artists included in Library of the Printed Web as of 1 March 2013.

Mimi Cabell
John Cayley
Ether Press
Fathom Information Design
Traivs Hallenbeck
David Horvitz
Daniel C. Howe
Jason Huff
Karolis Kosas

Jonathan Lewis
Guthrie Lonergan
Silvio Lorusso
Heidi Neilson
Doug Rickard
Joachim Schmid
Andreas Schmidt
Sebastian Schmieg

Benjamin Shaykin
Victor Sira
Paul Soulellis
Elisabeth Tonnard
Penelope Umbrico
Clement Valla
Elliot Vredenburg
Michael Wolf
John Zissovici

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The Spectral Lens

I’m launching The Spectral Lens (Twenty-Six Stories from the Book Machine) at Offprint Paris next week. I’ll be there with ABC Artists’ Books Cooperative and there’s a book signing on Thursday at 5pm.

More about The Spectral Lens.

Offprint Paris
15–18 November 2012
École des Beaux-Arts
14 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris

 

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The spectral lens.

 

Images from a new project that I’m working on, tentatively called The spectral lens. A collection of images accidentally re-photographed through tissue paper by the Google book scanner, as found in Google Books. Hoping to have this ready as a print-on-demand book for Offprint Paris.

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Final prints

Just approved the final 16 x 24 archival pigment prints on rag paper at Laumont. These are for the show at Colorado Photographic Arts Center (January 10 through February 13) in Denver, CO.