10 Nov 2010

sun print

Remnants of the studio's make-shift mailbox

Remnants of the studio's make-shift mailbox

I've been dabbling with an idea for a long time now, ever since moving to southern California. I want to make sun prints, but not the kind one makes with those blue and white kits. The obsession began with a commission from photographer Kimberlee Whaley for the first issue of Thirty Magazine. She asked four visual artists, including me, to take one photo a day, for thirty days, beginning on October 1, 2008.

I had recently moved to California, and realized that October was the time when summer was turning to fall in other parts of the country, cycling from growth to decay, but the sunshine in Los Angeles was ever-present. So, without those obvious shifts in the natural landscape to inspire me, I turned my camera to document the effects of that inescapable sunshine on my urban environment. I've made a Flickr set of my photos. Many of them show the sun-faded paint, signage and objects that became my inspiration for the idea of using the sun to "print" on found materials and printed ephemera. 

The problem is, I still have not moved forward on making any prints. I've spent years(!) at this point deliberating (otherwise know as procrastinating) on materials (wallpaper? my photographs? advertisements? pages from women's magazines?), subject matter, where best to leave the pieces out for "printing", etc. I keep stopping myself before I even begin, wanting to have a clear vision of how to execute this idea before I move forward.

Then I was rescued from myself and this deadly cycle of inaction, when I pulled our make-shift, temporary mailbox from outside the studio door. I had taped the "mailbox" (a manilla envelope with black tape letters and a Droog tape frame) to our door 2 months earlier so we could receive deliveries while we waited for an official mailbox in our new space. The official mailbox was delivered this week, and the time came for me to remove our make-shift one. The black tape type had begun to peel up at the edges, so I peeked underneath.

SUNPRINT! I'm excited to see the gradation in the type's color where the corners of tape had curled, and enjoy the marks the recent rain caused at the envelope's base. I can't wait to use the studio windows to make more.