October 18, 2014

I am most certain there is a goodwill conspiracy going on.

Two days in a row for scoring some good vibes. Bring it.

Earlier today I was thinking about going back to  school. For my PhD. I don't need a PhD but I miss being in that kind of environment and I want to explore some things a little more rigorously. I need more structure.

My solution , of course, is to start my own online degree program. I'll work on the curriculum this fall, and enroll  next semester. Perhaps I'll  start with a winter intensive. My program will be two years long. At the end of two years I will  ceremoniously graduate and award myself an honorary degree and set up my new practice. It will be great..

October 17, 2014

Today Was a Good Day.

I swear I had almost forgotten what a simple, "Sure, sounds great" sounded like. Holy crap. Things I used to take for granted I no longer can and the tiniest acts of sincerity and civility stand out now. It was a great day—accompanied by THE best veggie burger in the world and topped off by having the courage to commit to at least one course of action. Rock on, indeed.

...And it just keeps getting better. Mind you, I'm talking incrementally, but there's something going on and it's good.

October 08, 2014

I'm _____ _____ ______ _____.

If you're in a conversation with another painter and you want to bring the conversation to a dead silence, I've got 5 words for you.

September 30, 2014

Well, of course I'm going to like a barista parlor with a vintage R75/5 parked inside. Who wouldn't?

all images ©M.A. Hackett

After looking at 4000 slides, I deserved a coffee break. 

To be fair, Barista Parlor Golden Sound is still somewhat in a soft launch. I write this from a sunny little spot on the floor where I'm cozied up to the shop airhead pictured above. I quaffed my a little too tepid, but thoughtfully decorated, cappuccino asap. The biscuit looked promising, but hardcore vegetarians be forewarned: Let there be lard. I make a damn good vegan biscuit with soy butter, so I know butter-butter can do wonders. Lard was a bit overkill as evidenced by the grease stains on the brown paper wrapping. Biscuit competition is picking up in the Gulch and my vote is still with the biscuits on the hot bar at Turnip Truck. (I'm partial to a bit of crust). Tables are rumored to be arriving soon and the former car stereo shop turned barista is bathed in light so it's bound to be a favorite of mine come fall and winter. There's a roaster on premise and caffeine related swag available. If there was an ocean to the west, I'd swear I was on Abbot-Kinney. The grand tally for a capp and biscuit was $8.25. Meat-eater versions come with sausage. 

Somehow I missed the Gentleman's Ride that convened in the parking lot two days ago, but now I have a go-to location on Live to Ride, Ride to Coffee days. 

Barista Parlor Golden Sound | 610 Magazine St. | Nashville TN | 37203

September 28, 2014

And Thus I Begin Toying with the Idea of a Vintage Micro-stock Agency.

If you read my previous post, you'll remember I was sorting through a large collection of vernacular slides I found in a closet. I anticipated the lot to be around 4000 slides. Not true. This is why I fail at guessing the number of jelly beans in a jar and other numeric activities. I crossed the 4000 mark and now I'm upping the number to 5000. At numerous points while looking at various bodies of water, boats and countrysides that all looked relatively similar, I regretted not taking the time to identify each and every location as was written on the original box, but 1) not all were identified, 2) some were misidentified, and 3) I surprised myself at how easy it was to identify various international  locations based on clothing, buildings, and countryside. I'm also honing my skills at guesstimating the date taken based on American clothing styles and holiday wrapping paper. I'm still in the process of transferring the slides from boxes into sheets in order to reduce the cubic footage of my cache, but the end is near.

Or at least it was until it occurred to me that running a little vintage micro-stock agency might be an interesting side project to stave off the usual ennui that occurs during the every exhibition. Two weeks.

September 21, 2014

Step One.

It's really not such a bad job. It's time-consuming, but interesting. The box on the left contains 2000 slides. By rough estimation I am about half-way through moving the slides from their cumbersome carousels and boxes to their new home in archival slide sheets. I'm waiting for more sheets to arrive.  The next step is to scan them. That's going to be the heavy-lifting part of this gig. I'm taking this in steps, which allows me to think abut future projects that will inevitably come from this work and how best to archive and organize these images.

Someone recently gave me unsolicited advice that I might benefit from a group dedicated to Adult Children of Hoarders. Other people mistake my interest in personal history as nostalgia. I'm not sure how to answer either of those comments politely. I grew up as an only child and ever since I could remember I've considered myself an artist. It really didn't matter what media I used. Everyone in my family knew this about me and I know for a fact that much of what has been saved, as burdensome as I sometimes feel it is, was saved because of my appreciation of art, found images, and interesting objects. as well as my mom being somewhat of an amateur archivist and history buff herself.

The slides are primarily from my parents, and my aunt and uncle's cache. They date back to the 1940's. More than likely they will end in the early 70's. I remember roughly when my mom's 35mm Argus camera stopped working. Early 1970's after a trip out west. I don't know why they didn't fix it. Cost, likely, and maybe it had been discontinued by then. By that point, I was the family documentarian. I received a new Instamatic or Poloroid camera about every other year at Christmas. Eventually I had my own 35mm, and eventually I sold, re-bought, and sold them again. I no longer have any of my vintage camera equipment. Sometimes that extra 8 ounces of whatever is too much of a burden. You streamline. I did that again earlier this summer. I ditched most of my negatives from high school and college. And with good reason.

It's interesting the sense of detachment I have in looking at these photos. I'm not editing just yet, but in the process of physically scanning them as I insert them into slide sheets, I've made observations: My mother was raised in an upper-middle class family that made out okay during the depression. They appreciated nice things and liked to entertain. They wore tailored clothes that look nice in photographs. Based on what I know, my grandmother sewed many of the outfits, including suits, and my mother hand-knitted several things I've seen reproduced in photos. My dad had a full head of hair. There are rural scenes so at some point in time, my kinfolk came from small towns in the south. They owned cameras and flash equipment and took photos of everyday life. My aunt and uncle travelled frequently for professional reasons, and for leisure. I have photos of Istanbul, Greece, Morocco, Hong Kong, China, Tokyo, Cuba, Norway, Denmark and possibly other destinations I have yet to uncover. There were relatives in Florida. There are photos of small towns in the northeast and New York. Sunsets, oceans and boats; waterfalls, mountains and food. I notice I'm slightly jealous when I see other children being hugged by any of my relatives, even though I was not born at the time of the photograph and do not know who these urchins are. This must be an only child defense mechanism. I also wonder who exactly took the photos and by process of elimination, I make educated guesses. Some of the images are nicely composed. Some experiment with light and shadow. Some experiment with portraiture. I'm impressed by several. Some miss the mark, cropping an element in an awkward place, still lifes, usually. The majority are correctly exposed and I'm here to tell you that Kodachrome is remarkably archival. Effing amazing saturation after 60 years. Not all are labeled, and as I approached this task, I did so with the implicit understanding that I was not going to try to ID everything. Some slides are individually labeled, some have detailed liner notes corresponding to the carousel slot, and some carousels have notes, like

Palm Beach

hastily written on a scrap of paper and tucked inside the box.

I found a snow scene in the above box. A mountain with snow. I Googled "snow mountain Cuba" to make sure there was not some freak snowstorm in Cuba in 1950. There wasn't. There was a Great Appalachian Snowstorm in 1950. This would make more sense, but it was not documented as such.  After that I disregarded the notes. Truth in photography. Hah.