Projects galore

About 15 years ago, when I was in a band driving around the country for long stretches, I would often think of grand art projects. Unfortunately, I didn’t always have the means or connections to really pull them off. Some of them I completed in part, and others have recently started to float back into my consciousness. In many cases I’m finding that time has aged the images in a powerful way.

Before I was touring in a band I shot a series of photos in malls across the country. I recently scanned a bunch of them and I’m working on a project that involves writers putting together short stories/personal essays about their mall memories. In some ways it will be similar to my music and writing project, SCRAPS. I am also considering combining the projects, as they are complimentary in a lot of ways. The color mall images with mall culture outsiders reflecting on malls combined with the black and white music scene photos with insiders commenting on this outsider culture could work really well.

Another fantasy project was the living portrait series. Way before everyone had flat screen TV’s I envisioned a new form of portraiture for the super wealthy. Living portraits would be filmed portraits of people that would be looped endlessly. Just as the aristocracy from the 19th century would sit for massive portraits that would hang in formal sitting rooms, I envisioned these filmed portraits as the new form of immortality for the powerful. It seemed that these living breathing, blinking portraits would be creepier than anyone could imagine. My first experiments involved musicians and filmmakers and I showed a few of them at Cinema Texas in 2000. I plan to dig those out and post them in the coming weeks.

One idea that I never got off the ground- but that I have copious notes for somewhere, was the arrow sign project. Driving across America one sees those blinking, arrowed, signs everywhere advertising topless girls to used cars. I wanted to line up 100 of them on the median strip of upper park avenue. In an earlier version of Twitter I saw them as a place for famous thinkers to try to outdo each other. Given their finite space, poets and pundits would have to use a zen like focus to communicate their ideas. Having these lowbrow communication devices offer up high brow thought on the richest of avenues seemed incredibly exciting. Anyone want to help me make this happen?

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