Back Ups (Aerial Photos - Heraldry)
2012
Self-published artist book
Back Ups (Aerial Photos - Heraldry) documents the 85 most interestingly conflicted reverse sides of images - as found in the California College of the Arts’ Meyer Library picture file in 2009 - beginning with the subject file “Aerial Photos” and ending with the subject file “Heraldry.” This project ends before “Z” because “Heraldry” was the subject I’d reached when it was time for me to graduate.

Being that these pages display the reverse sides of the “official” chosen picture file images, the presence and preservation of these second-class images was incidental. However, it is these reverse sides that bear the subject name given to their flipsides. This of course renders the text and image information wildly mismatched, often wonderfully. Here I seek to highlight the tension - hilarious, poetic, dark, tragic, and otherwise - produced between textual labels and the images they might seem to label, but definitely don’t. All the best examples I found are here, and the book’s cover page reproduces the manila folder one would have had to use to borrow a hand-picked selection of flimsy, battered, beloved physical images from the library for the picture file’s 100+ years of existence.

This project would not have been possible without the wry enabling and artistic respect given me by my boss at the time, Donald Smith. Thank you Donald.