contextualized language

2004-2005
St. Paul, Minnesota

These images document individual actions from a series of over one thousand; with each action, I inserted a short phrase into in an intimate yet public environment that I commonly frequented.  I choose lines of text based on their ability to illuminate unnoticed details in each location.  When compiled together, the large body of phrases construct “Chapter 2: Seeing” from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by environmentalist author Annie Dillard.

Annie Dillard's book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek illuminates the intricate details of land, near her home, that she knows intimately.  As I read Chapter 2, "On Seeing", I physically cut her words apart, isolating phrases which I attached to easily overlooked locations throughout my neighborhood. There were thousands of phrases. I kept them in a little plastic zip lock and always carried them with me.  Completing the project, a few to a dozen phrases a day, took nearly two years.