christine's blog

Some Images / Research V & VI

I have been spending some time with the truly extraordinary textile artist Anni Albers. I have two new images banks of Anni Albers' work from the catalog of a 1999 Guggenheim exhibition and a 1985 Smithsonian exhibit. These are all scans, mostly color, directly from the books so they don't have my usual scribbled commentary.

Here are the ideas I was thinking about...

1. Light -- the way light reflects off of things that are thought of as flat like fabric or paper

2. Texture -- two dimensional representations of textured surfaces (like knotted-looking fabric or woven art), this is basically about light too

3. Metallics -- again an interest in light reflection, also hidden or subtle use of metallics (like metallic thread)

4. Tests/experiments (the art of art research) -- much of Anni Albers' work was about performing studies to allow herself to experiment and gather ideas, such as laying out bits of twisted paper in patterns to explore the possibilities of woven patterns

5. Color -- most of my tearsheet work/research has been with b&w xeroxes so I'm now starting to think about color, particularly the use of bold(er) colors that don't overwhelm

Submitted by christine on Thu, 01/17/2008 - 1:34pm.

Some Images / Research III & IV

I'm adding to the mess (of ideas and images and images that represent ideas)! Soon there will be a huge tearsheet throwdown involving
a. all of my tearsheets
b. tape
c. markers
d. a wall to be covered with all of the tearsheets
e. a boombox and a lot of pacing

but in the meantime...
1. Some images from the Graphis DesignAnnual2005.
2. Some images from the book Specials by Booth-Clibborn (publisher of art/graphic design titles).

There's one or two image banks still in the works
who keeps listening to Piece of Me?

Submitted by christine on Sun, 01/06/2008 - 11:07pm.

Some Images / Research II

More images and things that I've been looking at. This time it's a little bit of a mishmash from the Communication Arts Photography Annual, some stragglers from the Design Annual, and a few other items.

Submitted by christine on Fri, 12/07/2007 - 7:42pm.

Winter 08 Project Proposal

Here is my project proposal as a PDF.

Submitted by christine on Thu, 12/06/2007 - 1:01pm.

Some Images / Research

To prepare my brain for the task of making the class site, I spent the afternoon with the Communication Arts Design Annual. Here is a PDF of some of the images and pages that caught my eye for various reasons.

[Now for some rambling prater: The PDF has scans of xeroxes so this has me thinking about what I keep calling "resampling" or the process that images or objects go through to get from one point to another. For instance, I found a picture of chocolate bars (yes, chocolate bars) with really cool packaging. Each candy bar had to go through all kinds of production/preparation to come into being and then a whole team of photographers and stylists took a picture of those items. That image then went through a bunch of digitally processed versions before coming to final, non-digital hardcopy when the magazine was printed. From there, I found an issue of the magazine somewhere out in the world and I made copies of the chocolate bar and other pictures and later ended up scanning the xeroxes so that people could have a way of looking at what I was looking at.  It's these things, these chocolate bars (or whatever other objects) in all of these permutations...]

Submitted by christine on Wed, 12/05/2007 - 11:21pm.


"Epidermalized power violated the human body in its symmetrical, intersubjective, social humanity, in its species being, in its fragile relationship to other fragile bodies and in its connection to the redemptive potential inherent in its own wholesome or perhaps its suffering corporeality..."

Dear Paul Gilroy,

I apologize for not talking about your writing in seminar. I regret it deeply.


Submitted by christine on Wed, 12/05/2007 - 1:59am.

Of A Technological Literature

"In an old part of the city like this, time collapses the picture... Here I am, tightrope walking the twenty-first century, slim as a year..."

A few weeks ago in cyborg week 1, we talked about how technology is changing the way books are written. There are all of these teen books that have adopted the format of chatting and/or texting as a way to tell stories. But way back when, in 2000, a book came out called The PowerBook by Jeanette Winterson. I have a long running love/hate thing for J.W.'s writing but I won't get into that. Of note about The PowerBook (besides the title being an allusion to a laptop) are these two things...

1. The story simultaneously happens at different points in history, the recent past, and shifting versions of the present because it's being crafted by the narrator who is something of an online story conjurer. J.W. uses technology as the premise for condensing then stretching and pulling at time/space/history.

2. The book is structured to be like a computer menu, that is, many of the chapters are named after computer actions such as "SAVE," "QUIT," or "VIEW AS ICON." Each chapter also has its own neat, clean little icon with which it is introduced. The mountain icon for the chapter "SPECIAL" is an outline of a triangle divided by a scalloped line to indicate a cap of snow. One of my favorite chapters "Spitalfields" has for its icon three wavy lines with a weird flame-shape growing out of it!

Submitted by christine on Sun, 12/02/2007 - 12:11am.

A Short Story For Your Enjoyment

"Forgiveness" by Rebecca Brown
from The Terrible Girls

Apparently, we didn't do enough reading this quarter because I feel the need to offer up some short fiction, "Forgiveness," for everybody to read in delight and terror. Those with a weak stomach might want to avoid this story, but it's incredibly concise and beautiful. All quarter long, I've been thinking about The Terrible Girls because several of the stories are these lovely, grim lenses into the roles of bodies and power.

Included in this very short piece are wonderful sentences like:

"Things I once took for granted became significant. Cutting a steak with a knife and fork, or buttoning my fly, untying a knot around a bag, adding milk while stirring."

Submitted by christine on Fri, 11/30/2007 - 9:55pm.

A Case of Britney Spears & Cheetos BP Script

This is my portion of the script for the presentation A Case of Britney Spears & Cheetos.

The slideshow is also available upon request.

Submitted by christine on Fri, 11/30/2007 - 7:48pm.

Thoughts from "Latino Dolls"

Thoughts, Connections, Questions from Reading "Latino Dolls"

This is an ode… An ode to Chelsea where the light is bright grey-white by day and amber-colored at night. An ode to all the Barbie dolls I played with two summers ago. And an ode to the animator/filmmaker dearest to me.

1. What is a gay toy store?
In the beginning pages of “Latino Dolls” I really wasn't sure what would constitute a gay toy store. Does Quiroga mean a sex shop? No? Does he mean something like Toys R Us except somehow more gay? No? It suddenly occurred to me that I knew exactly what was being described because I used to live in Chelsea (the sort of lower westside in Manhattan) which is the floral/photo/fashion part of town and not unrelatedly the rich, gay, white, male capital of the east coast. I could never find anything I wanted to buy in Chelsea. Every other store seemed to be a snobby, overpriced little den selling semi-whimsical printed tank tops, t-shirts, notecards, and endless snarky, queeny, brightly colored knickknacks. Here I am, three years later realizing that half my neighborhood was and is composed of gay toy stores. My limited (read: not important) gay consumer dollars go to buying all of those impossible-to-find-new Sarah Schulman books. Now… does that make me a less evolved consumer?

2. Would somebody save up (their money) to buy a gay doll?
Yes! Fortunately and unfortunately. The 2000 $50 price of a Billy or Carlos doll was rather prohibitive, but not so much so that a few sacrifices wouldn't be made for a trendy, joyful, way to recreate a piece of childhood. This makes me think of the character David in Sarah Schulman's Rat Bohemia (which is the book of my life, my favorite book). David's childhood is marked by rather cruel parental enforcement of gender normativity -- no skipping, no singing, no giggling, no limp-wristed gestures. He's the type of kid always getting a football instead of the Barbie doll he might really want. In my mind that kind of childhood supersedes, overwhelms even a very clear understanding of the marketing schemes behind something like the Billy doll. You're buying something you couldn't have in childhood. You're trying to find a way to rename, reclaim, recapture something not possible in the past. It's awful, but how do you separate those feelings? (It's not possible to be completely separate from culture.) Working on gay guilt and pain is the best (worst) marketing plan ever.
Submitted by christine on Thu, 11/29/2007 - 1:03pm. read more
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