Hi guys! Louisa here, one of the Rivets photogs. I wanted to share a personal project with you today. It’s Sunday, it’s hot out, you’re probably sitting around in your underpants drinking coffee and reading facebook status updates, so this should be a nice addition to your morning.
For the past 2.5 years I have been working on a photo/word collaborative project with my friend Christian Dahlager. What started out as an innocent gchat conversation turned into a project that now includes three books and over 500 vignettes. Basically, here’s how it works: I send a photo to Christian via the interwebs and he writes thirty-five words about the photo. This is a blind collaboration, which means Christian has no say in the photo he gets and I have no say in the words he writes about the photo. Challenging? Yes. Frustrating? Sometimes. Kick ass? Always.
The first round of this project (called .onethirtyfive. for one photo, thirty-five words) went EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR. Have you ever tried this? Have you ever tried doing something every day for a year? Even brushing your teeth? Try adding another person to any daily routine and see how the difficulty multiplies. BUT! We did it. We had an art show at the oh-so-awesome-and-now-closed art gallery Umber and hung all 365 vignettes in March of 2011. This past year we eased up on ourselves a bit and decided not to do the project every day. We just finished our second year of 100 vignettes a few weeks ago. Our most recent iteration of this project came in the form of a grant from Mnartists.org. Here’s what I had to say about the project on our tumblr blog (which you should totally visit, follow and put on your google reader).
Waaaaay back in December (or maybe it was January), Christian and I sat down for a meeting at the Red Stag, a hopelessly hip bar and restaurant in the Northeast neighborhood of Minneapolis. We put our heads together and came up with a proposal for a grant application for a project called CSA. You’ve heard of this, yes? It’s called community supported agriculture. Basically, you can buy a share in a farm and every month the farm drops off a box of veggies. You never quite know what what will be inside, other than it will be seasonal and delicious. Mnartists.org came up with an artsy-fartsy version of this: community supported art. Shareholders could pay $300 and get a box of art each month for 3 months. This meant that there were 9 grants available for $1000 each and we wanted one. Thus, the Red Stag powwow.
Fast forward to mid-May of the same year. Christian and I had received one of the grants (thanks mnartists.org!) and had been hard at work for the past 100+ days making our project. What we ended up with was and is a labor of love. We put an incredible amount of work into this project and we hope the recipients of the CSA shares love what we came out with.
For 100 days straight, I took a photo and Christian wrote thirty-five words about the photo. We compiled these vignettes into a pocket-sized book. With the exception of 4 vignettes, the entire book was based in Minnesota. All of the images were black and white and the vignettes were all identified by neighborhood. The book is 4”x5” and was designed to be portable art; you can put it in your pocket and bring it on the light rail, or to the Guthrie or anywhere you need a dose of art. The book was printed by Merit printing and bound and finished by Campell Logan Bindery, both downtown Minneapolis operations. We used hand-cut paper and hand-stamped the cover and title pages using custom rubber stamps. Each book is signed and numbered in an edition of 50.
Hopefully, we will be re-releasing this book in another form down the road for all of our followers. In the meantime, enjoy the photos and stay tuned for the release of our second year of .onethirtyfive. The book is compiled and ready for print…we just have to figure out where to print it to get the best quality and price. Cheers!