Saturday, March 27, 2010

Reading List Update

The Prairie- James Fenimore Cooper
This book completed the Leatherstocking Tales by Cooper, a five book series chronicling the adventures of Natty Bumppo. In this series; The Deerslayer; The Last of the Mohicans; The Pathfinder; The Pioneers and The Prairie. A solid adventure series set in the early part of American history beginning at the outset of the French and Indian Wars through the beginning of the settling of the west. If you are looking for some good old fashioned American adventure then this series is a must.

The Rough Riders- Theodore Roosevelt
A true story account of the war between Spain and the United States in Cuba told from the perspective of Teddy Roosevelt.

On deck-
The Jungle Books- Rudyard Kipling
King Solomons Mines- H. Rider Haggard

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Artistic Frustration

If you are artistically inclined in any way I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about. It is the dreaded creative blockade; you don't know what to do or where to go next. You loose concentration and direction in your work and nothing seems to go smoothly (as if they ever did). I understand that the only way to get through it is to keep on working and just struggle to keep up the good fight. Easier said than done. These images represent a struggle to keep it going. I do not feel inspired by much right now and I certainly don't feel inspired by these but here they are none the less. If I have to suffer, so do you. These are from the ongoing project documenting construction or the lack of it.... more to come.

Reading list;

Reading now-
The Prairie- James Fenimore Cooper

Coming up-
The Rough Riders- Theodore Roosevelt
King Solomon's Mines- H. Rider Haggard
The Jungle Books- Rudyard Kipling

The Four Feathers- A.E.W. Mason

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Old Ideas Rehashed... Lets See if it Works

In college I worked on two projects about development. At the time there were about a million subdivisions popping up all over the Chicago land area. The first project was dubbed 'The Edge of Development'; it dealt with new housing developments that were overtaking farmland and expanding the ever growing suburbs of Chicago. These images were created with a 4x5 view camera and offered a 360 degree view of the landscape. The other project was titled 'Replaced'; it was concerned with the redevelopment of the existing suburbs. Homes that were built in the aftermath of WWII were being torn down and replaced with new homes of intense magnitude and opulence. 'Replaced' questioned the aspects of our society that are wasteful and over the top using the symbol of the emerging modern American home.

Now things have changed. We are five years removed from those times but it might as well have been ten or fifteen. Because of the current economy which has been ravaged by two wars and the bust of the housing market and all that went with it; the production of new homes has all but ground to a halt. Sites of future development five years ago have now become symbols of failure and over extension. What once promised to be the next new neighborhood now stand all but vacant.

Reading List;

The Pioneers- James Fennimore Cooper
The Pathfinder- James Fennimore Cooper

Waiting for-
The Prairie- James Fennimore Cooper

Picked up-
The Old Farmers Almanac 2010
Great American Short Stories- From Hawthorne to Hemmingway

More to come.

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