Circular Horizon Line

Circular Horizon Lines are both a ten year journey back and a new way forward for me.

At the beginning of what I’ll call my Toronto productivity, I exhibited a series of horizon shots taken on the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Ontario. Those were shot on an analog 35 mm and all were printed in a way that utilized the traditional negative ratio of 2:3.

I printed each photographs twice, the printer flipped the negative for one of each pair of images. The end result was two very similar images that were then framed side-by-side. The finished piece gave a mirror-like effect.

I liked that work, but I exhausted it quickly. The process felt a bit like manipulation for the sake of manipulation, or trickery to create something aesthetically pleasing.

Since that time I’ve changed. I’m now firmly invested in the 1:1 frame ratio. I’ve cropped square for about five years now and I’m still exploring the endless possibility of this restraint. I’m also fully digital now.

IMG_4453circular These current shots are all of Lake Huron just north of Goderich. I’ve been coming here and shooting the horizon in all types of weather for ten to fifteen years. The cottage that we use is 16 years old. It was built by my brother in the year I was married. The place is familiar. It takes a long time to get to know a place for me.IMG_4461circular I’m fascinated by circles. To me they’re a complicated extension of the square. I know that’s not really what a circle is in math terms. The circle is a logical development after a familiarity I’ve achieved with the square. It’s another restraint. The round format feels comfortable. Here, it also helps to make the images less familiar than a regular rectangular frame ratio would. It’s one of the steps I’ve taken to make these less about the image and more about the objects I hope to create.IMG_5853circular The angling of the prints is also another development. I’ve always been interested in the way we see. I’m always thinking about how we actually see things upside down and the brain turns them over so we comprehend things like they are. In a way it’s like the brain and the camera are related. In the simple pinhole or view camera the lens inverts the image as well. The angle is also simply rotation. It makes me think of a clock. I’ve toyed with the idea of making these pieces about the specific time I shoot them. I may try that in future.

Rotating these images plays with how these are seen and—like the circular crop—serves to remove a bit more of the original context of the image. It helps to emphasize the object over the image.
IMG_5875circular I plan to frame these in white traditional square frames at first. If they work well, I’d really like to explore getting custom round frames created, or even finding round frames. This series is me thinking about the paper “Specific Objects” by Donald Judd.IMG_4450circular I’m also very interested in how I process the work of a few artists that I really like. I sometimes feel like I came upon this Circular Horizon process all from my own head, but the truth is more likely that work that I appreciate and that resonates has influenced this process along the way. In specific I can see aspects of work by Rodney Graham, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Barnett Newman, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, and Andrew Wright to name a few. I’m sure there are others. IMG_4448circular

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The Book

The Book is an old project that I’ve finally got around to executing. Little steps. I have someone who’s interested in helping me produce it. If the project stays on course, and we think it will be compelling as it moves forward, it may be complete in two years.

Right now the book is 231, 3 x 5 inch index cards. Each card contains an idea or concept that was concieved in the last five years. Over the next weeks I’ll start to weed out the unrealistic thoughts, the ones that no longer resonate, or the unfocused ones. The goal is to end up with about 52 strong concepts for the book project.

We’ll start with those 52 ideas January 1st, 2016 and execute them over the course of the year while documenting. Each of the projects will become two pages. The idea page and the documentation page. Most likely that documentation will be a photograph. We were discussing 52 projects, one for every week of the calendar year but I’m not sure that we will stick with that plan. I do however like the idea of it becoming a project of projects. A piece in itself.

I’ve always wanted to do a book, and I’ve felt strangely unproductive over the last three years. This project helps me address both issues. I’ll produce a book and a large amount of work. I think I work better to deadlines, so I’m setting myself 52 of them.

This pic is the pile of index cards. I had to manually feed these into my printer one index card at a time. In itself this process felt like a performance.

The projects are primarily comprised of film, photography, sculpture, performance, text, audio and painting.

  1. Open Cubes
  2. Blackness
  3. White
  4. Searching
  5. Circular
  6. Balance
  7. Pronouncement
  8. Foundation
  9. Crumple
  10. Behind Glass
  11. Projection
  12. Smoke
  13. Negative
  14. Rugs
  15. Nail
  16. Scenic
  17. Walls
  18. Boxed
  19. Signage
  20. Sculpture Room
  21. Night Life
  22. Flowers
  23. Dig
  24. Knitting
  25. Reflecting
  26. Narrative
  27. Etched
  28. Forensic
  29. Blinds
  30. Trust
  31. Leaving
  32. Carved
  33. ESP
  34. The Hole
  35. Kites
  36. The Tower
  37. Potential
  38. Proofs
  39. Still Life
  40. MRI
  41. Industry
  42. Watching
  43. Answers
  44. Glossolalia
  45. Winter
  46. Pools
  47. Chromatic Reading
  48. Fountain
  49. Tarps
  50. The Framer
  51. Paths
  52. Patterns
  53. Semaphore
  54. Garage
  55. Tunnelling
  56. Sleep
  57. Panic
  58. Pedestrian
  59. Paper
  60. Lights
  61. The Weight of Time
  62. Maze
  63. Circling
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