Installation and Sculpture > Present Pasts

Present Pasts
2017

Handmade, handheld image viewers.
Layered Kodachrome slides, poplar, ink, polyurethane, light.

11 unique hand made sculptural image viewers. Playful and interactive, these objects can be held up to the sun or an immediate light source to illuminate the images inside. Depending on where you are, images of your surroundings are overlaid with images of past. They become like miniature cinemas, with motion activating the spaces inside.

Present Pasts 1: Places. River Buildings. Aug. 78 and Nov. 77. (2017)
Present Pasts 2: Places. Luxembourg, Mar. 55 and Gardens, May 56. (2017)
Present Pasts 3: Places. France and Lake Lucerne, Aug. 55. (2017)
Present Pasts 4: Places. Goat Country, Aug. 55 and June 58. (2017)
Present Pasts 5: Places. Places. Camping, May 57 and May 56. (2017)
Present Pasts 6: Places. Skiing, Feb. 56 and Aug 55. (2017)
Present Pasts 7: Places. Watch Tower, July 55. and Skiing, Aug 55. (2017)
Present Pasts 8: Places. Greenhouse, Apr. 56 and Houses, June 70. (2017)
Present Pasts 9: Places. Car window, Oct. 73 and Houses, Aug. 72. (2017)
Present Pasts 10: Places. Town, Jan. 67 and Oct. 73 (2017)
Present Pasts 11: Places. Lake Lucerne, Boats and a Fort, Apr. 55. (2017)




I am interested in the relationship between material refuse and memory. What do we do with the material relics from our pasts? Our parents pasts? And our grandparents pasts? And do these mementos and objects of memory carry forward and make new meaning in the present? I consider photographs of the past as part of a never-ending process of memory construction, rather than static documents of a particular event in time. Our photographs from family archives are connected with identity, place, and time. These images are continually recycled in a process that allows the viewer, collector, or the owner of a photograph to re-experience, re-frame, and re-contextualize the past in order to piece together an understanding of the present. I look at the archive as an encounter and a point of departure that enables me to explore the processes of human memory, and to unravel how digital technologies affect this universal human activity. My interest lies within photography’s role in constructing, re-shaping, and affecting how we look at the past within the present. As a result of this inquiry, Present Pasts considers a photograph’s object-hood, materiality, unique relationship with space and the human body, and also its psychological effects on how we remember and forget in a digital age. Picking up each image viewer and pointing it toward the light, a viewer participates in performing memory as they look through to an image of the past layered over the present moment.