My work is focused on creating a narrative by manipulating images to both subtract and add information through folding techniques. This provides an alternate view of the surfaces of structures created by migrants on their journeys to either flee injustices and persecution in their homelands, or those that are often disparagingly referred to as “economic migrants” who have often left their families at home in order that they can provide the most basic of requirements for them.
Migrant workers are the backbone of the Texas construction industry. As a migrant, my intent is to make work about the surfaces that are maintained by their hands, while making objects with my own. This will be a record of this continually evolving area, and a way to connect with other migrants. The aim here is not a message or to raise awareness, but a way to understanding and to work toward erasing the vilification of fellow Texans. The photographs of the surfaces are used in folding, bookmaking and origami techniques. The paper used is handmade using an ancient skill developed the Aztecs, it is currently made by Otomi Indians in Mexico.
This guest lecture interview was really interesting, as Anna and Maximus were talking a bit about social media. Being very new to instagram, I am quite cautious about what I post. In their conversation, it did seem like you could almost make it a full time job, but since this is the only platform that I have running I feel that it may be best to get to know it a bit better before making it a full time commitment.
Photography has been the starting point for my art work for many years. My fine art background has allowed me to give myself permission to experiment without fear, break rules and push boundaries. Working in a conceptual way gives me freedom to add and subtract information from the initial photographic images.
The ongoing pandemic lockdown has led to a shift in my work in this module. My work about surfaces and migrants continues with explorations in folding, sculpting, bookmaking and origami. Printmaking has been a constant in my practice, so I am passionate about all different types of paper; from how it is made, to how it looks and performs, to the deckled edges, preserving them, where possible. These edges can also be simulated by hand ripping your paper.
Anna Krentz’s thesis on the various types of deckle edges in photography is a facinating read. This irregular deckle edge below feels inspired by handmade paper as handmade paper dries on the mesh frame, it can form this finish around the edges. This edge can be removed if the desired edge is a straight one however, it is beautiful and organic and you can tell by looking that it is a handmade paper.
KRENTZ, Anna. 2014. Snapshots With an Edge: A Study of the Deckle Edge in the North American Snapshot. St. Francis Xavier University.
As a lifelong migrant, I have lived and travelled across the world, some of the difficulties related to leaving your homeland can, in even normal circumstances cause distress. The intention is to create a series of work that reflects those journeys by manipulating my images of building surfaces that have been shaped by migrant hands. The aim is not to bring a message or to raise awareness, but provide a series of objects and images related to migration. It is important to have a connection to history in the materials used, bridging continents, surfaces, visual language and memory.
Ed Ruschas’ accordion book is a great example of the accordion fold. He captured every building on sunset strip and chose an accordion fold as a support, a simple, but effective way to show this work. Ruscha had the intention to become a commercial designer, he signed up for courses in the history of photography where he became aquainted with the works of Eugene Atget, Walker Evans, Robert Frank and Man Ray. He learned how to use his newly aquired Yashica a twin lens medium format camera. This was 1956, ten years before he made Every Building on Sunset Strip.
Just as the name implies accordion folds are named after the musical instrument, it operates by contracting and expanding the mountain and valley folds. It is one of the most versatile of folds for making books and it’s possibilties are endless.
“Brilliant, very helpful how to and indeed why you should, make accordion books.” A YouTube guide to help you connect with your work. I found this just a few days ago and it is posted here since it maybe helpful for others who are looking to work in this way.
Olivier Ratsi, along with Gordon Matta-Clark was also involved in the Anarchitecture movement.
This new landscape is created by Olivier Ratsi, sometimes by technological error or intentionally produced in a process likened to cut and paste paper collage. Deconstructing and reconstructing these images to form a new architectural landscape; an anarchitecture landscape, leaving behind all the norms while making us feel challenged by this new visual, could it be real on first glance? This is a really engaging way to work and I am especially interested in this new surface that Ratsi creates. As a collage technique, this could be a really fun way to make new work.
This may be further investigated in the next few modules.
The art of sequencing has been an important topic in our group sessions and it is particularly important to me, due to the visual range of my work in this module. It has been difficult to make this series of photographs and objects to cohere but it may be easier to curate in a different setting, such as a gallery.
Digital has created a shift in my work, although I feel comfortable embracing these new challenges. My social media is limited at this time to instagram, which I am fairly new to. Some time has been spent keeping up to speed with this new area however, my current available time is being spent finalizing assessment work for this module.
At this moment I have a jumble sale of imagery that really need a master curator to sort out and I am feeling desperately short on talent right now. Challenges this week have been reworking ideas that were considered failures and this is very much still a work in progress although I am hoping to be surprised that my next idea actually works.
During to a conversation with the Houston Police Department some years ago, we were advised as a family to avoid social media and up until now we have managed. I knew that this would probably have to change once I started the MA and freely admit that I know absolutely nothing about instagram. Posting things in groups, road trips and some experiments is where I am at the moment. Like others have noted, it does feel a little like it is something else to do however, that could be driven by my lack of knowledge. It has resulted in me picking up some work which has been good however, I am probably not using it to its best.
This week’s guest lecture on instagram and various other social media sites was interesting. To note that twitter had a good selection of street photographers sharing information and giving feedback would be interesting to explore, especially as we go forward into FMP, since I suspect that we will need those feedback venues. It was noted that instagram gives the opportunity to show work quickly however, there was plenty of debate about where your images could end up and how you can be targeted by sales sites.
Koryo Miura, an astrophysicist, developed a way to fold using one sheet of paper. This was then further expanded for use with space exploration. The reason for this was to be able to make use of only one motor to open equipment for shuttles, which brought about the need for less equipment, and therefore less chance of motor problems.
The idea that this could be used for mapping was immediately interesting to me, so I decided to make a simple Miura Ori. The way that the light falls on this very simple piece of folded origami paper is really engaging. The fact that it can fold into such a tiny shape is wonderful. This was a little experiment was undertaken during the break, definitely engaging enough to explore further.
HARMON, Katharine A. and Gayle CLEMANS. 2009. The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
HAZELL, Rachel. 2018. Bound. Kyle Books.
HOLGATE, Jane, Janroj KELES and Leena KUMARAPPAN. 2012. ‘Visualizing “Community”: An Experiment in Participatory Photography among Kurdish Diasporic Workers in London’. Sociological Review 60(2), 312–32.
‘Pelosi Statement on Whistleblower Complaint on Massive Health Care Abuse at ICE Detention Centers’. 2020. Speaker Nancy Pelosi [online]. Available at: https://www.speaker.gov/newsroom/91520-0 [accessed 18 Sep 2020].