Red Red. A river of blood this body all bodies one. Protect this dust that’s floating forming a world.
Red Orange. Burn. Build. Begin.
Red Yellow. Choosing to be here.
Red Green. Opposites don’t cancel each other out.
Red Blue. Throat waves rippling, Connecting, conflicting.
Red Purple. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Being precedes vision.
Red Black White. ping pong balls: Taylor Mac, 24-Decade History of Popular Music tampon earrings: costume for Menstrual Spice, alternative Spice Girls ceramic crane: Colin and Debra’s wedding lanyard: Quantified Self 15 lanyard: Model Model UN ribbon: Judy’s Valentine’s Day gift for Delia apron: 15 years of paintings
Orange Red. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ plastic net: for citrus, likely mandarins yarn ribbon tissue paper: saved from a gift
Orange Orange. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ bottle cap: milk fabric: camping pillow
Orange Yellow. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ bubble wand: Little Mermaid sing-along plastic surface: neighbor’s rideable toy motorcycle
Orange Green. necklace: beaded at an event with some significance I can no longer remember block: a promotion for a club in Lisbon, kept it in the pocket of my purse for years after one romantic night coat: Justin’s, dug out of a closet to wear for a day in the snow
Orange Blue. paper: confetti from Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music, just saw Parts 3 & 4 in LA. These pieces seem to be ripped from copies of an 18th century feminist text distributed in Part 1. scarf: Justin’s, I wore it to the show.
Orange Purple. paper: crayon drawings by Delia and her grandma plastic sticks: pregnancy tests—true art-trash hoarding from two years ago or...?
Orange Black White. doll shoes: found in the trunk of the car two days ago, total mystery juicer and bowl: plastic implements at the guest house we’re at this weekend
Yellow Red. wax and plastic: babybel cheese, eaten today paper: file folder that hosts a #pussygrabsback stencil
Yellow Orange. necklace: found in a box while spring-cleaning this weekend along with every other necklace I own. They were gone for two years. napkin: I’m learning that yellow does not photograph very vibrantly on an iPhone
Yellow Yellow. Plastic Cap: the screw-top lid for one of those awful/amazing pureed food pouches for kids that are so useful in a pinch and so much instant trash. This one even had chia seeds! Flowers: nasturtiums, some of the only blooms in our garden. I put a lot of thought into this: flowers aren’t #futuretrash! They turn into soil! But only if they are left to go back into the earth or composted. Or in this case, eaten after the shoot. Shirt: Justin’s had it for years, wore it to our Rehearsal Dinner. Even though it’s a solid color the linen weave creates a moiré effect when the photos get turned into video, as has been happening with a lot of these images. I can’t stop it so I’m deciding I’m okay with it.
Yellow Green. Hard Drive: up and died a few laptops ago. Got it replaced and asked to keep it. No idea anymore what’s on it, but it feels like power. The Yellow Books from Our Bookshelves (many have yellow spines, not as many yellow covers): Book 1: The I Ching or Book of Changes, Wilhelm/Baynes, Forward by C.G. Jung (Justin’s, this book also feels like power, and complicated) Book 2: Grapefruit by Yoko Ono, Forward by John Lennon (a delight) Book 3: Hebrew translation of One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by דוקטור סוס Book 4: The Poky Little Puppy, a Little Golden Book by Janette Sebring Lowrey and Gustafson Tenggren (found in a free book bin, I watched a video version of this same art lightly animated as a child) Book 5: Wired:A Romance by Gary Wolf (Justin’s) Book 6: Lucky Wander Boy by D. B. Weiss (Justin’s, seems to be a video game novel) Book 7: Poetry Magazine, November 2017 (my grandfather has sent me every copy of this monthly magazine for at least ten years. Haven’t saved them all, but a lot). Book 8: Mindful Birthing by Nancy Bardacke, CNM (incidentally my number one recommended book/class for preparing for childbirth) Book 9: Urns, Dice, and Polyominoes: Topics in the Theory of Groups, Residues, Primes, & Probability by George Barr McCutcheon (Justin’s, this seems like a gem)
Yellow Blue. Bin: taken this week from the basement of my office building. “ORIGAMI PAPER” is written on the front in permanent marker. Balls: taken today from a two-year-old’s birthday party. There were other colors too; I only took Blue.
Yellow Purple. Cup: from a beer I bought on a rainy night in New Orleans. Drinks there are served in plastic cups so you can take them with you when you leave the bar. Reusable! And also trash. Crayon: placed inside to keep the cup from rolling. I’m not sure why it works but I felt like a genius for thinking of it. Yes, it’s a purple crayon. Towel: high absorbency pack towel, now primarily used on my pillow to go to sleep with wet hair.
Yellow Black White. Bowl: hand-thrown by a young friend. Was covering a steeping cup of tea before it slipped from my hand and shattered. Bandana: passed around between my siblings for summer camp, our last name is scrawled on one corner in my mom’s handwriting. Another corner is completely missing, burned by a floating ember years later.
Green Red. Lobster: brooch I permanently borrowed from my mother’s jewelry. I think it belonged to her mother. I can never figure out quite when to wear it. Fabric: DIY green screen, still hanging from The Justin Hall Show. Gathers a little bit of dust where it hits the floor.
Green Orange. Pom: fashion keychain sold at a clothing store just over the Italian border when we visited France. It delighted my baby so I bought it without her noticing so that she wouldn’t start associating every trip to a store with impulse purchases. I think it’s the only souvenir we bought on that trip. Fabric: pretty sure it’s a seat cushion cover. Probably got it from SCRAP. I used it for transporting and storing fabric art objects like world-shaped blankets. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Green Yellow. Tissue Paper: plucked from an unopened present. We’ve been waiting for D to open it until the gift giver could see her do it in person, but the green and yellow paper was staring me in the face. I’ll put it back gingerly.
Green Green. The very middle of this piece, of the deck, of the rainbow, of the year. sequined fabric: a shrug I made by sewing together the ends of material I had leftover from making pasties for a performance. I went out just today looking for more of the same fabric but couldn’t find it. The density of these tiny sequins and the stretchiness of the fabric is pretty remarkable.
Green Blue. Balloons: filled with nitrous oxide and sold to happy patrons outside the Dead and Company concert this week, then scattered on the ground after use. I restrained myself and only picked up the blue ones. The green one was my balloon. Fabric: scarf I bought 11 years ago from a street vendor in Barcelona. I wear it regularly.
Green Purple. Bus Transfer: from Friday, October 30th, 2015, apparently. Guessing I saved it because Halloween is one of my favorite times to ride Muni; costumes really open people up. This may have been from earlier in the night that I convinced a large group of partygoers to follow me a mile to catch a bus that never came. Some had never ridden the bus before and I suspect still may not have to this day. I miss these paper transfers. Jacket: a fuzzy fleece I’ve had for half my life. I grew attached to the Christmas tree we bought for our co-op in San Francisco, my very first Christmas tree. It was a Douglas Fir that looked like it had a face, so we named it Face Douglas. We finally burned it at a beach bonfire at the end of January that year and an ember flew up and burrowed a hole in the fleece. I repaired it with a small tree-shaped patch, sewing on two sequins for eyes. ⠀
Green Black White. Plastic bag: I’ve been ordering more from Amazon lately. That bothers me but I suppose my appetite for convenience surpasses my ethical standards. It’s complicated. Or maybe it’s just capitalism. Also the icon of a baby with its head in a plastic bag always reminds me of a tiny astronaut. Fabric scraps: I couldn’t find the densely sequined green fabric I’d been looking for (see #greengreen) but combining this fuzzy fabric with the asymmetrical sequin on mesh is actually closer to the look I’m going for in this costume. By the way, a different part of this costume came to me in the bag above. Fabric is still something I buy by going into a store. And then hoard the scraps of indefinitely. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Blue Red. Scissors: I begin each animation by meditating. I wasn’t excited to do the work of this project today, but I decided to sit anyway and see what happened. On the table next to me lay these broken beauties, begging to be danced. Fabric: a swatch of sweatshirt fleece from my fabric pile, likely from SCRAP. I’ll always keep around a rich, bright blue like this.
Blue Orange. Ball-looking thing: waterproof toddler hat with flaps to block the sun, ends tucked in and stuffed with a scarf. Worn that day in Santa Cruz (pictures taken while said toddler was napping). Fabric: polka dot shirt I was also wearing that day (I got cold while I was shooting without it) and a sheet we were sitting on outside.
Blue Yellow. Life jacket: the lifejackets on this boat all happened to be Blue with Yellow straps. It feels like magic when I can pull off this project in the course of daily life; my only solid chunk of creative freetime is weekend afternoons during toddler naptime and often even that is spoken for. Good thing there is future trash everywhere.
Blue Green. Discs: crocheted “world” badges from a project circa 2011. Made in conjunction with a giant (11ft diameter) fabric earth quilt I took around the city having public conversations on. These badges were supposed to be the portable version, “conversation pieces”: you wear it and if someone asks you what it is, engage them in how they feel about the state of the world and then even give them their own. I have a lot of critical feelings about this body of work, and it’s pretty much how grad school whipped the earnestness out of my practice (or tried to) for better or worse. But I still have these pieces and they still make other people happy so I’ll probably keep slowly giving them away. #socialpractice Flag: earth flag purchased and never used as part of a punny group Halloween costume that involved cardboard cutouts and blue and green duct tape: “P’s on Earth” or “World P’s” 🌍✌️
Blue Blue. Mylar: balloon my toddler carried around inside for weeks, after learning the hard way that they fly away when she opened the door and released one. It’s almost completely out of air, so I shoved it in my backpack to take pictures of on the bus, on a trip where I’ll spend an entire week without her.
Blue Purple. Water Bladder and Mirror: unpacking outside from a dusty week in the desert. The sky is blessedly blue.
Blue Black White. Pillow: my partner got this and about 20 other different cushions (and some rugs) at a warehouse sale full of props used only once on a film set. I think it’s from that pile, anyway. Sock: honestly I have no idea whose sock this is. Found on the floor of our bedroom.
Purple Red. The beginning of Purple and the High Holy Days. Time to get witchy. Coat: Dr. Rheinbrain’s Pataphysician’s Coat, created by Dr. Truly. This animation was created at the Pataphysical Studios, inside a time machine. Satin: also belonging to Dr. Rheinbrain, it is the cloak he wore while officiating my husband’s first wedding. He wore a different outfit to officiate ours. Sequins: a captain’s jacket purchased at a vintage store on a rack called “Desert Sparkle.” This quickly brought into my wardrobe a red tutu and red lace-up boots, which when paired with a Diva Cup necklace created the perfect ensemble for an “Optimistic Future” themed wedding at Burning Man.
Purple Orange. Book: Magic Eye. I bought a bunch of used copies recently on the recommendation of a neuropthomalogist as an eye exercise for a condition I have called Visual Snow. “Really? Magic Eye?” I stopped looking at them after a couple weeks, but the nostalgia is still fun. Apparently animating the image here breaks your ability to see the illusion #sorrynotsorry Pillow case: Ikea. Came with a complete set of sheets, which my friend squirted on once while she was subletting my room. She bought me new ones that were a similar shade, only red. The stain eventually faded and then I had two sets of sheets! #winwin
Purple Yellow. I let myself use a tripod this week. Incorporating Year One into Year Two, possibly creating a formula for Year Three... Paintings: Purple Yellow, from Year One of Rainbow Squared, along with the sixth Yellow from A Tiny Painting a Day Every Day for Seven Weeks, painted postpartum and the inspiration for this series. Circle: base for charging a glowing yellow butterfly bug nightlight, a birthday gift sent in the mail and hard-earned from the post office. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Triangle: wooden cheese inherited with a tiny kitchen set from our friends who moved away. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Fabric: things worn camping this weekend: bandana and shorts for me, shorts for D that she pooped in, and a purple t-shirt that J wears one of everyday anyway.
Purple Green. Leaves: gathered specimens from as many different plants as I could find in this garden, realizing afterward I’d stopped before even collecting a quarter of them. Fleece: purchased that morning to create a purple gorilla Halloween costume. Stay tuned.
Purple Blue. Blanket 1: a gift from a dear friend for the birth of our baby, who selected a hand-dyed cosmos pattern without even knowing she would have a constellation as one of her names. I had to wait a couple nights and resort to trickery to be able to photograph it while the now-toddler slept. Blanket 2: When I inquired as to its origins, Justin told me “Missoni home collection from a Japanese department store.” Would have been circa 2003 when he lived there. I’ve always loved the color/pattern/texture (which is soft). Pillows and bed spread: for about six years we slept on Justin’s ex-brother-in-law’s old mattress that he himself purchased used from Craigslist. We finally got a new bed last year, which meant we had to buy new sheets and a new comforter. Unsatisfied with the selection of bold, simple, graphics anywhere, I finally opted to design my own. It took multiple nights of hours on Adobe Illustrator before finally going back to first design I made on the first night. Now theoretically anyone can buy it in pillows, sheets, wall prints, totes, (and more!) at society6.com/iim
Purple Purple. Fabric: the makings of a purple gorilla costume. My mother never sewed, nor did I blame her, growing up in the sixties I can imagine an aversion to that type of domestic work. Or maybe she just never learned. I find some piece of pride in working full time and finding time to sew (or alter) a Halloween costume for my kid. Then I think that the time going into this costume represents time I wasn’t spending volunteering for the midterm elections. But truly I think I am squeezing out the time to do it because I love working with my hands, miss it even. Fiber and fabric and costume let me play. I don’t really follow patterns or even always measure things. I don’t always know what it will look like when I start. It energizes me, so that it’s not like I am making a costume for my daughter as much as the making is for myself. But also, this two-year-old girl wanted to be a gorilla for Halloween and man do I want to celebrate that. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The other side of this is how much motherhood (or time?) has changed how I lived my principles. This costume is made almost entirely of new materials, and all materials that are new to me. The scraps are obvious trash (and oh I love their aesthetic properties!) but truly all of it is future trash, something she may wear once and never again, or gasp, not at all if she hates it (she refuses to try it on). Even if she loves and treasures it, it too will become landfill one day, even if it gets recycled, still too landfill one day. Making art out of future trash does not mean I don’t create it too. It’s just another stop on its way to obsolescence. And yet. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Also, using the tripod has completely changed the outcome of these animations. I struggle with wanting to keep the constraint of handheld just to influence the kind of images I make, to not get too swept away with the power of creating illusion. I like the forces jenkiness of handheld animations, but it also takes a lot of patience. The tripod is liberating in a different way.
Purple Black White. Fabric: purchased for the purple gorilla costume and not used, but brought along to a Halloween weekend farm party where it was stuffed with dried leaves, given googly eyes, hung from a geodesic dome, and repurposed as a ghoul. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Feathers: slowly leaked onto the outdoor dance floor over the course of the night from a Bjork swan and a black hen. Plucked joyously from the ground one by one around 2am; this week is black white!
Black White Red. Ribbon: plucked from the “red” of my trash altar. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ HEPA filter: During the North Bay fires last Fall the air was filled with smoke for miles and miles. I bought a fancy air purifier for the baby’s room. This week the (not-so-baby’s) room had started smelling funny, and the air filter was doing nothing about it. I finally opened it up and it was caked with dust, as apparently these things require maintenance. I finally cleaned it and bought replacement filters. Which is all well and good, except I realized the reason it smelled so skunky in there was the freshly-cut chemdawg drying in the closet.
Black White Orange. This week across California the sky is Black White Orange, filled with smoke and particulate matter for miles and miles from the fires. More and more fires. Table: round, metal, perfect for precariously leaning a tripod against and photographing outdoors in good company, wearing an N-95 mask. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Safety vest: issued when I became NERT certified: Neighborhood Emergency Response Team. After civilians were instrumental in the aftermath of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the city of SF began training everyday people in disaster recovery, people who can be part of search and rescue teams or even just take care of themselves. My training has lapsed (it lasts two years, I’ve re-upped once) but I still have the hard hat and the vest. Now that it’s dark outside earlier, I’ve started wearing it to bike.
Black White Yellow. Yarn: the leftover ball from a hat I just finished for Delia in time for the cold weather on this Thanksgiving trip to visit family in London. Even though it also fits on my head she complains that it’s too tight and refuses to wear it for very long. Love’s labors lost. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Blanket: this was Justin’s bed at 11am GMT, after he and Delia left for the day and I stayed behind to battle jet lag and work remotely. Sleeping in someone’s childhood room, Justin and I each in separate twin beds that seem to be previous bunk beds. Delia is sleeping in another childhood room, in her very first big kid bed, another former top bunk with rails on the side. The sheets and linens are all white, painterly in the overcast window light.
Black White Green. Umbrella: a studio light most often used functionally as room lighting since we are too lazy to replace the track light bulbs that keep burning out. I used this one to shoot in with the light off, and the other to backlight it to avoid a blaring glare onto the shiny material. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Spiral: part of pre-fab birthday decorations that we somehow inherited from a party, not sure which since I can’t recall ever buying any. I held onto the actual decorations for a while in hopes of using them one day but that day never came so I removed this dangling green spiral (and a blue and a purple one) to put in my trash altar then threw away the rest of it.
Black White Blue. Items: used and received over the course of Hanukah last week: wrapping paper and tissue paper and gift bags and candles and a pack of temporary tattoos and the box from an object called “my first Chanukah menorah,” as if that’s a thing. All in blue to reinforce that this is an Important Holiday worth branding and commoditizing. All in blue to correspond perfectly with this project.
Black White Purple. Painting: a few years old, acrylic, painted it in an afternoon in Howard’s backyard. I’ve always kind of liked it. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Canvas: one of many small blank canvases Justin brings along every time we go to Howard’s, always with the potential to paint. It was raining so I had to photograph inside and realized quickly that Howard’s many technicolor LED-framed masterpieces were changing the color of the canvas. Then I realized this was a feature, not a bug. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Incidentally, this was shot on top of a purple towel on top of a white table. Rainbow squared squared.
Black White Black White. Paper: “Essays on Colour,” a collection of the color columns from Cabinet Magazine, Issues 1-42, 2000-2011. When I confessed to @jackietori about my project she confessed to me her abiding love of color, a slight surprise (though it shouldn’t have been) given her penchant for wearing black. She shared with me this PDF along with Maggie Nelson’s #Bluets, like sharing treasure. I waited a long time to read it: I wanted to do it in print rather than on a screen, and since each essay is displayed in the color of its topic, it took me a while to muster the audacity to print 198 color pages, which had to be stapled in two booklets (you can see the split right before “Scarlet.” Now on a year-end beach vacation I’m finally reading it, though it’s possible I’ve spent as much time photographing it. ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Authors include (among many others) @davidbyrneofficial, @eileen.myles, @natothompson, @authordanielhandler, and even Maggie Nelson. Colors include (and this is exhaustive): Bice, Beige, Ash, Ruby, Indigo, Hazel, Safety Orange, Rust, Sulfur, Ultramarine, Pink, Chartreuse, Khaki, Sepia, Purple, Pistachio, Gray, Ivory, Silver, Cyan, Yellow, Tawny, Scarlet, Violet, Brown, Olive, White, Mauve, Opal, Maroon, Prussian Blue, Puce, Porphyry, Magenta, Verdigris, Black, Green, Red, Amber, Gold, Orange, Drab. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Fabric: a robe supplied by and embroidered with the logo of this Florida resort. It’s now covering my legs as I sit in a hotel room with the curtains drawn, editing this as my daughter naps. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ That’s it, 2018. Perhaps a ceremonious way to end the cycle, and now time to start it again.
Unless it is going to turn into dirt, most every object is future trash. Time scales vary, but its relevance is always fleeting. Not unlike a rainbow.
My deep appreciation and celebration of color mingles with a simultaneous regret for its means of production. Manufactured objects are available in a spectrum of colors like never before in history, made from materials and dyes that often have toxic and lasting impact. Manipulating these objects in space through stop-motion is an act of play and reckoning, honoring the objects in my life in all their complicated glory and giving them new meaning.