Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What've you been doin' in therrr?

So you may be wondering..... Jenna, you have a lovely studio space. But what do ya actually DO in there? Well.... mostly, I think. I think.... and I think. I have been researching a lot. Specifically, I have been reading about postwar Detroit. Right now, I am reading a book entitled Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit. It's by Thomas Sugrue and while it's not exactly a page turner, it clearly outlines how the situation in Detroit has deteriorated to the state it's in now. Sugrue writes about the origins of racism and how tenuous race relations have contributed to inequality in housing and employment. I think that reading this kind of stuff is really helpful to me because it helps me to see that Detroiters didn't just wake up one morning and find that their city had been abandoned. It was a gradual process that was inclusive of various factors including housing, industrialization, racism, classism, and more. Detroit is coming more and more into clear focus as an important part of the work I will be doing this year.

Furthermore, my mother sent me a box in the mail of family photos. I have been going through them, trying to decode the gibberish writing on many of them, and finally, scanning them into digital files because soon, they need to be sent home to my mother. (She doesn't trust me with them for too long.) There are some really incredible photographs that I find to be full of inspiration. I guess I am most interested in the fact that these lives are a strange part of my own and yet they exist only as frozen moments from the past.

Along those lines.... I have been thinking a lot about traditional photo development techniques. This all started when I went to a cyanotype workshop at the DIA and I hope it takes off from there.....

Well, if I sneeze onto the keyboard one more time, I think it's going to develop its own swine flu.

Oy vey.


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