President’s Day at Ellis Island

“Give me your tired. Your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Ghost on the F train

Around these parts, along the northern edge of Brooklyn, people call the G train the “ghost train” because it’s terrible. I’m now passing the ghost torch onto the F train. I sat across from this for 5 stops, completely fascinated.


Fantasy Pic #19: Ruff

I’m playing “Fantasy Art Collection,” inspired by games like Fantasy Baseball. Go to the main page to get the idea.

Fantasy Art Collection pick #19: Thomas Ruff

I’ve finally thought of 2 things that are wrong with NYC. #1: rats, #2: you can’t see stars. There’s no solution for #1, but there is one for the stars problem. I just purchased this 8.5 x 6 foot photograph by Thomas Ruff, hung it on my brick wall, and it looks incredible. It’s a little strange looking sideways instead of up, but living here takes compromise, so it works for me.


Ok, I’ve actually never seen it in person, but recently my friend and I were talking about the depressing state of a recent art fair, and I asked him to name one thing he saw that blew his mind. He picked Ruff’s Sterne (Stars) photographs, and as he was describing them to me I got choked up and decided to buy one on the spot.

I’m not much of a photography collector because I like to see the hand of the artist, and always lean towards drawing, painting and sculpture. But Sterne, as the third photograph in my collection, is very similar to my very first fantasy purchase from Misrach’s On the Beach series. If either of these photographs were paintings, they’d be terrible so I wouldn’t have noticed them. It’s the fact that they are photographs of the existing world that make me love them so much.


I like feeling very small in the big picture of the universe sometimes, and knowing that something greater exists or I wouldn’t be here. When I look at these pictures I’m reminded of it and it puts things into perspective.

This art purchase is in memory of my grandfather who died at the age of 92 last month. He was a writer and artist, and a few months before he died he gave me a book called “How It Ends: From You to the Universe.” The cover looks a lot like my new Ruff, but I haven’t read the book because the topic freaks me out. But I think he’d definitely love this picture. If he hadn’t lived, neither would I. Thank you so much James C.G. Conniff.

#copygram, week 1

Last week I invented a game called #copygram. I was on jury duty recess, wandering around lower Manhattan scrolling through Instagram, when my friends green mailbox photo popped up. I was standing next to blue ones, so I took this pic and hashtagged it #copygram. We’ve been playing for 7 days. I like it. I think it has great potential.


Dual Mailboxes


The NY Pretzel


Deli Flowers




Willy Bridge


Iconic Strand





Jury duty fail


When I showed up for my first tour of jury duty yesterday I was pretty excited. I know it’s weird, but I had 12 Angry Men on my mind all morning and sort of hoped I’d get picked. Everyone talks about it like it’s the worst thing ever, but I’ve never been to court and don’t plan to return, so once I got in there I wanted the chance to see it up close. I get nothing from the sketches.

I’m serious though, I think it would be really interesting even if the case was lame. But yesterday I sat in a courtroom all day listening to potential jurors answer questions about their current struggles and dark pasts (that part was actually pretty good), and today I read half a book, took a 2 hour lunch and was dismissed. I feel swindled. Oh well, back to work. It’s like the old school Olympics … 4 more years …



White Noise: A Manney Marclay Collaboration

Yesterday I wandered into a big junk store that I hadn’t been to in 13 years. I bought an old mirror there when I moved to Brooklyn after college, dragged it around for the following decade I spent jumping apartments in Chicago, and pitched it for good luck before moving back 3 years ago.


These bins of old photographs at the store got me to thinking about Chicago, and the second time (of many) I declared the end of my waitress career for the sake of art. I’d just started grad school and knew little about photography, so I happily deposited my student loan check, threw my black shoes in the garbage, and took a part-time job at The Museum of Contemporary Photography.

The first show that fall was Audible Imagery: Sound and Photography, and my first assignment was to install Christian Marclay‘s White Noise. I was pointed towards a big blank museum wall lined with boxes of old photographs and told to cover it. The instructions were simple: Marclay had purchased thousands of photos from thrift stores, and he wanted them pinned facing the wall in any arrangement we chose, as long as they went from floor to ceiling and followed a rectangular theme.*


It took a really long time, but turned out pretty cool. (A few years later I spotted White Noise at another museum, but it was totally obvious that mine was better:) Although I gave tours of the show to visitors, I don’t think I understood this piece at the time—I oddly thought it was just about photography. It’s really about the connection between the mediums of photography and sound, and the relationship between the visual and audible experience—A perfect visual analogue to the sonic phenomenon of “white noise” (mocp).

It wasn’t until recently that I became really interested in Marclay’s work again after seeing The Clock. I started stalking him online and discovered that he’s certainly a between mediums guy—his work explores sound, noise, photography, video, and film.

I added The Clock to my Fantasy Art Collection as the final purchase of 2012.


(this isn’t the White Noise installation at MOCP, but it’s the only photo I could find)

A very Sandy Tuesday

Photo journal: I passed this silly ad on Second Avenue as I walked 50 blocks north to charge my phone.


and tonight … power’s out at the 50 yard line of the Williamsburg Bridge. I live on the dark side, in the East Village, where there won’t be power for a week, so I’m enjoying internet, cocktails and light bulbs in Brooklyn.


Op Art

2 Op Art inspired Photo Journal entries