The writing will start back up again now since school is finished. I thought my first posting should be about the summation of my Frames project.
It all began when I was printing out my photos for a gallery showing. I had a strong reaction to the idea of my photos being printed and just hanging in a space. Although there is validity in people being about to experience my work, it didn’t quite satisfy me. It didn’t do justice to the amazing experience I had while taking the photo.
This led me to the idea of doing physical croppings with frames out in nature. The concept was that even though it was a seemingly narrow frame, each individual would see something completely different due to height, time of day and essentially all the past experiences one brings to the table.
My next iteration was that I needed to do a collaboration with Don Harker for the Epiphanies elective at Smith Rock. At the time, I was doing cultural and geological research about Smith Rock. My cohort had encouraged possibly doing a supplemental website to show people the depth of the environment I was framing. I took this advice, but later on realized this is not what I wanted to capture. I feel that one of the most wicked problems in the world is people’s inability to change. People don’t change because they get comfortable, are unaware and truth hardened, concrete.
Although I think that a person’s truth or belief is crucial, I also feel that a person’s ability to be aware and recognize when those truths should be tested is as equally crucial. Thus, I took the route I was most passionate about, which was a person’s perspective.
The first step was to make the frames. I took wood from the Smith Rock site and began to tie them together with twine. The sage was the most interesting to weave together with its twisting branches. However, I took wood from the surrounding area of my home (Beaverton) and around the studio (NW Portland). These three different types of wood definitely displayed different characteristics.
Here is an example from my Flickr page on the creation of the frames:
The second iteration involved the participation of my cohort in the Epiphanies elective. I took various flora from the site and placed them in a circular pattern. Then, I placed the frames on the outer edges. Each person would choose a specific frame and then personalize it would the flora in the circle or whatever else they found and wanted to add. After personalizing the frame, each person would choose a specific area to place the frame. Both the personalization and the placing enforced attachment to the frame.
This process was key to my idea of another hurdle people have with successful collaboration. When a person collaborates, they must be both willing to be fully vested in the collaboration and willing to accept (and perhaps champion) that their concept may be transformed by another. People have problems with giving or changing an idea they regard as their own (ownership) and then lovingly giving it to another person that may or may not fully transform it into something else.
This idea was translated into the process of the Frames Project. I took the wood and made the frames, then this frame was given to my cohort to personalize and display in another way if they so chose. At the end of the project, it was interesting that people were expressing attachment already in something they had just made that day. Now, I’m not saying we should automatically destroy what we have just made, but that we should fully aware of the bond we create when we put work into projects.
I gave my cohort three options of what to do next. First, was that we take the frames and take them apart to make something else completely. Second, was to leave them where they were. And they came up with the third. Instead, we would write haikus about one another’s frames to get an additional perspective. I think it would not have been valuable to take a part the frames at that point. Although I feel it would be interesting to return to the area a year from that time and take it a part. Would it be more difficult to take it a part then? Or would people be more ready to cast aside what they thought at the time was a beautiful choice?
Here are the photos from the Frames Project:
This is the video done, purely for documentation purposes:
Overall, this experience was pretty amazing. I hope to continue the route of frames and perspectives.