Many centuries ago, in November of 2019, I made a visit to the Birren Color Collection at the Haas Family Arts Library at Yale University. I spent a few days digging through examples of 19th and 20th century fabric swatches and color cards. This was all research for an artist book project that might somehow connect these beautiful objects to the origins of landfill culture and planned obsolescence. When I returned home, I began making sample books out of my clothes and sheets and matching colors to my walls. I planned to use my domestic space as a framework for the project, using what was around me when at home. Soon after, Covid-19 gave domestic spaces a new significance and I struggled to find a way forward with the project that was not mired in the pandemic. The swatch books hibernated in a drawer for over a year while each of us struggled through a private Covid experience, many of us from home.
And then, as if a switch was thrown, I suddenly found myself interested in the project again.
There will be two components to this project:
I am making an effort to use what I have. For paper: a heavy stack of offcuts given to my by Michael Bixler 15 years ago. For the text I am distributing and setting type from dozens of ziplock bags of loose Bembo that I inherited somewhere along the way. (I owe someone a huge thank you here, but who?)
What is this project now? It is still related to my original intentions, I think, but is also inevitably tied up in a pandemic year. Its production necessitates activities that I find calming during periods of anxiety: winding thread, cutting cloth, working in the home, thinking about the home. I am committed to finishing it without overthinking it.
More information on this soon. Thank you Sarah Scarr for your help with this project.
PS does anyone read blogs anymore? I am too boring for Tiktok and have no dance moves. Maybe I’m all alone out here.