At long last, Trace, the Shift-lab project which includes the Marina book and prints I’ve been working on since last July, will be up at 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, Oregon, just in time for SGCI.
Trace consists of three major parts. The first is a set of five folded paper books, each concerned with a manipulated space. Our interests led us to different sites near our homes; a marina, a clay mine, an arsenal, a ski resort, and a trail. These books are contained in an enclosure alongside a map, an imagined landscape generated from sound files taken at each of our locations, designed by Denise Bookwalter.
The design and production of these five pieces yielded a mountain of process materials: printing plates, proofs, drawings, among other elements. A carefully selected group of these materials makes up the second part of this project and served to inspire the third, two to three prints (a selection below) from each artist.
The book, prints, process materials, and map will all be on display for the first time together from March 31st through April 30th. Are you in Portland? Join us for an opening on March 31 from 6pm to 8pm. I wish I could be there in person, but many of my shift-lab pals will be there. Can’t make it? The online catalog is now live here. Thanks, Laura Russell, for making this exhibition possible.
In celebration of the completion of Trace, I include below the complete text from my folded Marina piece. This text was culled and reassembled from newspaper clippings and promotional materials dating to the Brighton Marina’s design and construction in the 1960’s and 70’s, as well as from reminiscences of the area around Black Rock that was destroyed to make room for it.
The sea wall can commence and will be completed in two years : The harbor arms are each a mile long : Mr. Cohen had his vision : They will be on land reclaimed from the sea : Keeping a guardian’s eye on the western arm of the marina : The rings are lifted very slowly : The Marina is for everyone : This is simple work, really : Planning is a negative control : We can say what will not happen but we can’t say what must go in the plans : Those brave and courageous men : How mysterious it looked out there all lit up at night : You can get in trouble here late on Friday and Saturday : Thank God I still have the memories of winkles and prawns for tea : The sea must be calm enough : This is simple work Go down into the cold, dark, unfriendly waters : A virgin site : the journey to the seabed : We shall all share in the profits : Ready to receive the superstructure : The rings are lifted very slowly : It has taken two public enquiries: It is held in suspension by a crane : Why build a rich man’s playground : You are fighting against the elements, or rather trying to work with them : A massacre of seafront architecture : I’d moved giant steel pins or tonnes of concrete in fiercely cold north easterly winter winds : Three million tons of gravel and sand had to be dredged from the Isle of Wight : The Marina is only half finished : I remember it happening : Those brave and courageous men : Backers bank on success : It is held in suspension by a crane : The Company have opened their doors for business : Crashing waves from loudspeakers : The lowering of the last concrete caisson of its western breakwater : Pouring £4 million into the sea : This is all pioneer work : The lessons learned in the Marina will be studied all over the world : It is not a true picture to present to the public : The Marina is for everyone : The rings are lifted very slowly : Construction is in operation : This has happened once in America : The secularization of the whole of the burial ground : An Oceanarium : The lowering of the last concrete caisson : Crashing waves from loudspeakers : The minister had expressed grave concern at spoliation of coastline : This is just not true : The lessons learned : It is not a true picture to present to the public : We have a scheme in mind : A timely intervention : 200 men are steadily extending the outline : They have not taken into account the number of children : It all comes down to doing a good job : I worked on ‘the crane’ : Several times I observed storms : The weather is crucial : Go down to clean the sea bed site : Proceed in protected conditions : Meticulously scheduled and programmed right up to the completion of the harbor : Designed to prevent the overspill of waves : Construction is in operation : Top experts have visited every Marina in the world : The council worked itself up to near hysteria : Those brave and courageous men : The homeless would remain : The town would be dying on its feet : This could, and did, cause trouble : We also lost some damn good winkling beaches : After the concrete has set : They will be on land reclaimed from the sea : Giants were impressed : You’ve got nothing to come : Indeed, you are fortunate : We have a scheme in mind : A wave machine : We could complete the breakwater : The construction of the spine wall : They will be below the cliffs : It will change the town’s image as surely as did the Prince of Wales : But the coronation will not take place until the Marina comes to Black Rock : Both officials struck some hard bargains : We shall all share in the profits : Interest on that capital is going to do curious things : The rings are lifted very slowly : through two-hour shifts each day : Listen out for a bell : A mild ruffle to a gale of wind : A mass of water can have a catastrophic effect in a confined harbor : One got the impression from the debate that one is ruining the cliffs : Build on and develop certain land : Lands forming part of the bed of the sea : A scene of interest to the inhabitants : He did not think the marina would spoil the coastline : Flashing beacons : Crashing waves : A gale of wind : The harbor arms : The lessons learned : The scope of the scheme : This is an opportunity : The sea wall can commence : Dredge in the harbor : Men are steadily extending the outline : A team of six to eight divers : Being piled against the sea wall at certain strategic points : Break up the action of the waves : Keeping a guardian’s eye : We could complete the breakwater : I remember the feeling of anticipation : I have always imagined that it comes from the bunkers of a wreck somewhere : I remember it happening : This is all pioneer work.
Listen out for a bell which rings continuously : Kill for ever the talk of pure speculation : There are two types of waves which will assault the Marina: This has happened once in America : One hundred million gallons of water will flow in and out twice a day : We have a scheme in mind : The vision of a self-made man : Everything has evened out : I personally have not made a brass farthing from the Marina : Winter gales can hamper the construction: The faithful cranes : Their sturdy necks : They will be on land reclaimed from the sea : Lay one new caisson every four days : They have to recover the investment: The origin of the wreck is uncertain : It burns slowly and fitfully and leaves a lot of heavy ash : All night or all day pours came next : It is a very challenging job because of the sea : The rings are lifted very slowly : Insignificant concrete blocks : A frivolous concrete monstrosity : A virgin site : The journey to the seabed: He lived in a flat on one of the pontoons : In the evening the starlings come to roost for the night : I remember : I was sure that the whole effort would end : I’d moved giant steel pins or poured tonnes of concrete : Every day I wake up in these surroundings : I heard the faint cries for help from a jumper on the undercliff : That massive structure seemingly crawling out to sea : Some people consider it a white elephant : The town would become a quiet backwater : Coal boats once serviced the cliff top gas works : We can say what will not happen : We regard this as fundamental : The sea must be calm to prevent the overspill of waves : Each one is prefabricated on land just under the cliffs : This beach was laid down around 100,000 years ago : Laying its own platform as it went : I saw a load churned up by a storm yesterday : Filled with sand dredged up from the seabed : The longest of the two breakwaters : This is simple work, really : Wait and see how it develops.
There were lots of shellfish and other sea creatures ripped from under the waves and dumped high and dry : I would take pieces of wood home as I found a beauty in those odd shapes that had been sculptured by the sea : This layer has produced fossil fossil remains of mammoths, wooly rhinos and hippopotamuses : A chalky rubble eroded by freeze-thaw : Sea-shells and the remains of whales : The point where the white chalk of the South Downs meets the sea : I have always imagined that it comes : This beach was laid down around 100,000 years ago during a warm interval : I would take pieces of wood home as I found a beauty in those odd shapes that had been sculptured by the sea : I saw a load churned up by a storm yesterday; took four