Friday, March 27, 2009

Another take on Spirits under glass

Recently we went to the de young museum to enjoy the ethnographic collection. Jim is particularly a fan of the New Guinea works. I have come to appreciate them more and more by seeing them through his eyes. I took my Gameboy camera, and he took our "big" digital camera. Photography is allowed, but no flash or tripods.

My de Young flickr photoset is here.

Jim wrote a very thoughtful blog entry about the visit. An excerpt:

"Encased in the sleekly modern architecture of the museum we see organic figurines, made of wood, clay, stone, or feathers, once living spiritual objects, extracted from dying cultures, forever frozen in action in their vitrines."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day

World Wide Pinhole Photography Day is on April 26th this year. This poster will be available on the website for download.

Now is the time to make sure you have your gear together. And it doesn't have to be a film image, you could make a solargraph. There are lots of links on the WPPD site under "resources." A few more links:
Solargraphy on Flickr
Diego Lopez Calvin's beautiful solargraphs.

Memory 436 - the image I submitted to WPPD two years ago. It was made in my MemoryCam. I used a paper negative which was developed and scanned into my computer. It's semi-digital.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Free For All!

Dreaming made Easy, included in Free For All, an exhibit of downloadable artist's books at Fiji Island Mermaid Press. If you have a computer and a printer, you can have, for free, books made by eight talented artists. It's a fantastic show - wonderfully varied and inspiring. Below is Marc Snyder's press release:

"The Fiji Island Mermaid Press is proud to present “FREE FOR ALL”. This online exhibition of artist’s books invites the viewer to download and assemble the books on display. The eight artists who have created books for this exhibition are Pati Bristow, Ginger Burrell, Warren Craghead III, Marti Haykin, Adele Henderson, Robert Hirsch, Judith Hoffman, and Marc Snyder. The exhibition will remain online indefinitely.

Each book in the show is available as a downloadable file. The viewer typically prints no more than one or two pages of artwork and text, which are then trimmed, folded, and cut to create miniature books. The artists have provided instructions for the viewer for the entire process.

The exhibition explores the boundary between cyberspace and “the real world”, as the show is only finished when the visitor to the site has downloaded and assembled his or her own books. Essentially, the exhibit exists wherever someone creates their own collection of books.

Brief biographical and professional information about each participating artist accompanies the artist’s book in the online exhibition. Links to view more of his or her artwork are also included.

For additional information about “FREE FOR ALL”, please contact Marc Snyder at"

Monday, March 09, 2009

Judy Times

From Sally Cruikshank's blog, here's a font generating web site that will make a free font in your handwriting. Download a template, write your letters on it, scan it, upload, and presto-chango! you have your own font. Imagine making a "handwritten" artist's book on the computer.

There is a part 2 of the template that allows to to make unusual characters - like an "a" with a tilde over it. Instead I made some dingbats. Warning: I couldn't find a way to type all the characters on their template, so I only filled in the ones that I knew I would be able to find later. I'm using a character palette app that comes with the mac.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Am I a Gamer?

Synasthesia, (check out his photo set Abandoned Haven) on flickr, asked me "I am curious how you came about your decision to experiment with your GBC (Gameboy camera). Are you a gamer?"

Two Jennifers, taken in 1999, probably scanned from the Gameboy Color.

I am a gamer, sort of. My gaming experience goes back to Pacman on my son's computer. When I tried my nephew's Tetris on the old grey brick Gameboy, I was hooked on the Nintendo. I was happy with Tetris for years. Then I got hooked on the Zelda games. I do have a few other games, but don't play them much. There are times when complete absorption in solving puzzles is a nice distraction from the stress of life. I also like to read, knit or watch movies in the evening, so I don't think of myself as a hardcore gamer.

Jeffrey, taken in 1999, probably scanned from the Gameboy Color.

About 9 years ago I bought my first gameboy camera on ebay. They seemed expensive when they first came out, so I was pleased to find a used one. I took some photos and scanned them into my computer, but then did nothing with them. Recently I was asked to participate in an online exhibit of downloadable, assemble-it-yourself artist's books. I have been experimenting with ttv and pinhole photography, so the Gameboy seemed like a good camera to use to make a quick trial book. (The exhibit will be going online soon, I'll announce it here.)

Florence - my 92 year old mother-in-law.

The simplicity of the Gameboy photos make me focus on the big picture (pun intended - the Gameboy picture is tiny on the screen) and details are not relevant. I find it all freeing in some way. It's a camera I carry around to take quick snapshots. They doesn't have to be straight or perfect. It's a moment in my life. Sometimes it's a moment of thinking "those old chairs are actually appealing in a rustic way." Or "that ladder looks beautiful in the sun." Or that moment of tenderness you sometimes feel when you look at people you love.

Jim and Florence