Look Here! Artist Interviews

Look Here! Artist Interviews

Check back for additional interviews every few weeks:

What collections are you using or did you begin to use for your project?
We visited the archives shortly after the project began, and then had a visit with Abbi Nye, Head of Archives, at the DH Lab. We were really taken by some of the images in the online Polonia collection – the crash images specifically. Read more….

For my project, I am using a work held in UWM’s Special Collections entitled The Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones published in 1856 and the AGSL Digital Map collections. By researching The Grammar of Ornament, I will be constructing new visual landscapes using the decorative ornaments from the book. Read more…

We don’t look at history enough and libraries are repositories of histories among other things– our relationship with libraries in general has changed so much because information is available seemingly so easily. But it’s wonderful being able to wander in an actual physical library and being able to find things you wouldn’t necessarily find with keywords. Read more…

Digital images have immense power and provide a way to continually revisit a piece, but I still appreciate the physical nature of touching books, maps, and archives in the library. For me, material interactions usually inspire greater reflection than online viewing. Read more…

Any project I work on has to do with divining and letting the unconscious bleed and then seeing what happens when you clean up that mess. It’s interesting to do this with library collections – where the library is all about organizing and cleaning up what might have been a mess, and so this is an interesting process to lay on top of library collections that really resist disorganization; but going ahead and letting it be random. There is an expectation that we respond to a specific collection in the library, but I’m much more interested in what falls out as I shuffle the cards. Read more…

The high quality of the images meant that I could work directly with information rich files. To pry open the singularity of one-of-a-kind artifacts, books, engravings, to share them broadly. And yet, my work – despite digitally laser cutting woodblocks and several hundred prints – will be synthesized into a fragile, temporary, first-hand physical nature of a site-specific installation. The expansion and contraction of experience is the irony of our digital age. Read more…

I did not expect that the collections would find me and change my work. I already knew what I was doing and thought I just needed X, Y, and Z to fulfill this task. Then I found all these artist books and the WPA projects – now I feel as if my project is advocating in some way for bringing the tactile sense back. I don’t know what will change in my journey. I’m on the journey where the work is talking to me, it is saying “Wait you’re not done yet. You need to add me to your journey and you need to talk about what’s being done historically, too, and how are you going to do that?” That’s the challenge and that’s where I’m at right now, trying to figure that out. Read more…

It’s that kind of encounter of – not completeness – but actual fragments of things that can be digitized that are easier to keep around; you know you don’t really lose them, and that’s something that I find entrancing, deeply, romantically entrancing. We have this thing in the theatre known as the romance of a half understood language. I used to do shows where we do half the show in Spanish and half of it in English, or half the show in French and half of it in English. The danger was that people would just sort of fall in love with what they thought was happening. Certainly this whole piece of mine is an invitation to fall in love with what you think is happening. Read more…