Casting A Net, 2003
cyanotype on paper, plastic cups, and netting
Davis Art Center
Davis, CA 95616
The work in this installation consists of approximately 1500 disposable plastic drinking cups, 200 ft. of Christmas tree netting, 1200 ft. of cyanotype-sensitized aqaba paper, and 1500 push pins. The continuous sweep of paper is a 1200 ft. long photogram image of the cups and netting. The mass of netting and cups, which sits on the floor, was used to produce the photogram, which reads as a murky white shadow on the blue paper. This “matrix” was placed directly on the light sensitive paper to record an imprint based on the degrees of translucency and opacity unique to the material. The looping line of 2 inch discs which appear on the surface of the paper are the bottoms of the cups.
Overall, my installations consisting of large-scale photograms, affixed directly to the wall, attempt to capture wayward moments of beauty. I find these moments in the detritus of the everyday world, both natural and unnatural. I record aspects of this detritus in cyanotype, a 19th century photographic process. The images acquire meaning though their fusion with an interior space and in their insistence on altering the quality of that space. My work is about the challenge of translating qualities that are perfect in the form that I first find them in, into something that can be suspended in time and seen by others. The idea of a lucky find is a contradiction. I believe that we find things because the lives we are living tune us to the frequencies of particular things in our midst, allowing us to truly see them. In this regard, I feel that ideas are encountered, rather than gotten. “Whatever you are looking for is looking for you too.” Saul Williams