a new landscape inquiry loosely springing from an experimental combination of about 300 sheets of expired 4x5 film, an ultra minimalist wooden pinhole camera loaned from a friend, and the simple utter truth that i fell in love with a 14 mile palm-lined boulevard in Fresno

Saturday, September 30, 2006

wash rinse repeat

it was during a long hot shower with the irritating interruption of the damned broken toilet running every 45 seconds that i began to put a few pieces together

  • horses, walking
  • a 14 mile walk, walking
  • a 14 mile walk, riding
  • me, solo
  • me and others
  • current residents (agricultural workers of Fresno)
  • orange vests for unity and vision
  • fill the boulevard with dirt again
  • wheel or graph mix of various personality responders to calculate formula / parameters / interests of the project
  • in the mix so far: Mark Thompson; <-- Ron; Francis Alys; singular image versioning, stacked layering and visual poetics of Mike & Doug Starn; "honoring" in For the Sea and performances of Bethan Huys + our walk/studio visit last year; song writing of John Doe as a case study for the poetics of personal narrative and creative crafting in the storytelling process; demo to final mix study of LOST / Damion Gallegos; reflections on the expandable words and images of GH
  • some form of performative element. grace, elegance, of a time past. Fred Astair dancing with coat rack. Royal Wedding Hotel sequence v. Jamiroquai (or C Walken in Fat Boy Slim)

some links i am finding

palm society:


the minimalist title abstract

BOULEVARD is a new landscape inquiry loosely springing from some experimental combination of: about 300 sheets of expired 4x5 film, an ultra minimalist wooden pinhole camera loaned from a friend, and the simple utter truth that i fell in love with a 14 mile palm-lined boulevard in Fresno the other evening. i want to go back and walk it. that's my sorry ass excuse for a road trip. like i needed one anyway?

Friday, September 29, 2006

lost and found

it has been absolutely non-stop since i got in the car and drove back to SF Tuesday morning. today with fever & chills, my mind is wandering. curled up at home, the slower pace and lack of destination is where i need to be.

a musician who's track caught my ear online a few months ago has posted the final release version. LOST has become a complete journey with a rich and deep seasoned complexity.

i compare the two versions of the track closely and study the changes.

brilliant, the sharpening & intensity of emotion, the reflective dispersal of vocals, the lightening layers that float tumble crash.

at around :45, this vocal rearrangement in particular is strikingly different
i used to think i could come along make a difference
i used to hope but now i know . . . i was only wishing
now a melancholic lament, a hint of backstory that sets a reference to build against/from in the here & now chorus

with repeated listening, i notice other things, numerous slight changes that give a heightened context & firmer stance to the track.

when i close my eyes, i see walking on the boulevard. i see horses.
i see this song clearly located here. LOST is the music of boulevard.

thanks damion
happy birthday


::: listen for yrself . . .

::: select the track LOST
::: this is the final version

::: select the track LOST
::: this is the working version


knock knock its su

Su comes round this morning on her way to the Foothills. in a brown paper shoppping bag is the 4x5 pinhole . . . wow a simple wooden box.

it is gorgeous & i love it.

she has brought some film backs which will probably work with the ReadyLoads, and in the bag is also a polaroid back. yes, you're right on Su . . . of course, as always !!! i will purchase some polaroid stock and shoot that too.

running horse reply

Dear Interested Prospective,

Thank you for inquiring about Running Horse. To answer your question you are more than welcome to come out for a site tour when it is most convenient for you. We are open from 9:00 to 5:00 everyday including weekends. In regards to scale models we have a good problem around here, we sell the lots too quick before we can build them, so we don't have any models.

As requested a brochure will be mailed today for your receipt in 5-7 days. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact us at 559-459-0050 or email me at

Thank you,

Danielle Kupina
Sales Associate

Thursday, September 28, 2006

dig dig dig

it turns out the Kearney Boulevard detour and surrounding construction we saw in Fresno is new real estate development covering 484 acres (underway) for mini estates and golf course.

Running Horse Golf & Country Club
Kearney Estates

catching up

i cross sixteenth en route to the studio. a man passes me, running. i see as he slows ahead it is Ari Marcopoulous, the very person i am on my way to meet.

ARI, i yell.
he turns to my voice and yells back from the corner: i'm late, for a studio visit.
Ari, Ari, it's me.
i'll email you. i'm late.
WAIT, i reply, its me, you are running to meet ME.
but he continues on in a run again and i walk.
i watch him turn into the main building and know he will go to the office to collect his studio visit schedule from the wall. and then he will see: i am his 10 o'clock.

a little while later he arrives to the new building, to my studio - studio 54 - and we have a good laugh about the comedic scene from the corner.

i haven't seen Ari all summer. i am anxious to talk about photography. he sinks into a favorite chair and asks about CROSSWALK, which we chat about for a bit. i tell him about how i have this idea for a photography series or something - about the expired 4x5 film and the palm trees in fresno last night.

what kind of film, he asks. i drag the box of ReadyLoads out. he reaches in and grabs a foil package, tears it open.

see, i wouldn't have done that. i've had this open box full of individually wrapped 4x5 foil packets at the studio for months and i haven't done that. haven't looked inside and made an exploratory rip into the contents. i'm too cautious when i don't know where i'm going, what's inside. this is why i love Ari, he makes it all seem so easy. such good company.

Ektachrome positive. it will make slides then.
we talk some more about ReadyLoads, loading and exposures.
i feel like something has really begun.
i know where i'm going, and i'm ready.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

fresno baby, its all here in fresno

we are on a road trip today, to Fresno. i am a passenger, which i strongly appreciate. the landscape is enticing. the scale of objects, the shapes of agriculture. the dirt. the incredible distance from urban.

during a lunch break at the underground gardens, i notice we are a party of 13.

afterwards i switch cars and join Bessma, Jennifer, Mark Thompson, and our guest today, landscape designer Ron Lustsko. we set out to find a boulevard of palms that Ron knows about.

after only a few miles, we hit an unexpected closure. discouraging.
we have come so far. this could be our end.

Mark navigates us into surrounding farm roads and we run parallel looking for re-entry. there are abandoned houses on brick, and peculiar excavation and development everywhere.

it has been an interesting discovery. the flux or state of transition is burned in me. i can't turn back, i don't want to leave. i haven't experienced enough. i plan my immediate return even while we are still driving.

the sun is slipping as we reach the end of the palms.

we continue on, following the road to Tranquility. the fog lays in and it is a memorable dinner at the only open restaurant.

later, up north a few miles off HWY 99, at a spot actually posted "area subject to flooding", we all unfold into the dark for a country pit stop in the dirt & lay on the hood of the car watching shooting stars.

it has been a perfect day . . .

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

discipline and restraint

i find myself at a cozy post-lecture dinner with Stuart McKee (the outgoing chair of design at CCA), Brenda Laurel (the incoming chair of Design at CCA), and our visiting guests: science fiction writer and futurist Bruce Sterling and his delightful wife the Serbian author and film-maker Jasmina Tesanovic. next to Bruce is his friend Rudy Rucker, who it turns out is is one of the founders of the cyberpunk literary movement. Rudy tells me he is a computer scientist and science fiction author.

in passing conversation about my work, Brenda remarks she sees the need for discipline and restraint. we all laugh and i tell her definitely come by studio 54 for a chat.

the thought has crossed my mind.
bridles, bits, leather.
a contained system.
works for me.
my model.
a process.

Monday, September 25, 2006

walk. whistle. walk.

i have spent the day reading on the porch, mostly art related texts and a few chapters of Calvino, as well as finishing off the slim volume The Situation and the Story: the Art of Personal Narrative. between readings i search online and find some bridles and bridle hooks in town. pastoral, one might say, this sonoma setting. it is hot today, and i recall earlier visits of the summer. suzanneI rings my mobile and i slip into trainers as we speak, headed out of the farm house and down the road a mile or two into the sunset. soon my battery runs out and i am alone in the road. dusk settles. the bats join in, flying overhead and circling close. on my return i whistle to the horse out in the paddock. he lifts his head from a pile of hay and comes right over.

second cup

Su comes up from San Franciso this morning to deliver herself a new bed. she shows me the darkroom she put in down in the basement. we talk about photography & i tell her about the 4x5 film i've gotten. i am thinking maybe to do some country landscapes up here and ask about borrowing a 4x5 from her. we could all shoot. Tommy likes that idea. Su says she has a 4x5 pinhole camera too that she would loan me. there is a nice fit there, with the expired film. something is beginning to take shape. 4x5 expired film, landscape, pinhole camera.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

social practice / sebastopal

left to right: anne, bridget, carly, amanda. photo taken by ben kinmont.

Monday, September 18, 2006

crossing over

this afternoon i have a meeting with Dia Penning over at Center for Art & Public Life in Oakland. i slip into my wallet an IKEA card with $99 credit on it that my sister gave me when i was back in NY a few weeks ago. something for the studio perhaps.

after my meeting with Dia, i wander on campus. i drop by the media center & find they have all the same equipment as SF. at the photo dept, a sad little meeting wherein i am informed that i CANNOT check out a 4x5 camera because i am not in the photo department. that is the policy. uhh, i am second year grad student working on my masters thesis & i have an BFA in photography. no. uhh, my department social practice is interdisciplinary & i am paying 40K a year here. no.

that is a huge load of crap.

i leave shaking my head and find solace in the stacks. find a Francis Alÿs book i haven't ever seen of his MOMA procession (which includes a dvd), and a heavy load of brilliant Beuys books to check out.

i think i really needed to end up at IKEA so i could sit in the silly restaurant and watch all the traffic out the window. the convergence of all these concrete byways is exacly what i want to be immersed in. i shoot some video and take a bunch of stills.

i make a list of locations that interest me :
  1. Scotland. Argyl & Bute (Cove Park)
  2. Cambodia. Reyum Institute; Maddox Jolie Project.
  3. Caumsett State Park. Long Island, NY.
  4. stables, dairy
  5. Brisbane CA
  6. SFO International terminal
  7. Oakland: Temescal
  8. IKEA restaurant window: traffic convergergence at 5PM DST
  9. Salt Flats. brackish waters of Bay Area wetlands
  10. site of former Potrero Gardens [land now gone to weed in fenced plot]
headed out of the IKEA parking lot for home, the light is so beautiful that i change my mind in a last minute flash and turn up and over an overpass to take a different way than usual to the bridge. this is the way i have gotten lost before. on a few occasions. almost every time.

the light is truly magnificent. a building for sorting recycling material catches my eye. i come back around. that's what drew me in but when i come at it from another angle, i see i'm here for something else.

for maybe 30-40 minutes as sun sets and dusk passes into twilight, i circle and explore an old familiar, unchanged industrial area within a few blocks of Grand Ave and the Bay Bridge on-ramp.

on towards the bridge, i keep the camera out and continue to shoot throughout the crossing.

i still keep shooting all the way back to the studio. i pull over & stop at a multiple construction site around the corner. the new one at the tracks is ghostly. i have been watching it go up, and to me it exemplfies a certain absurdity of development. its massive shape curves along the railroad tracks. tonight, i capture this. i shoot until the batteries empty.


the Baker Hamilton sign announces itself from high above, atop the regal building which has recently been gutted inside. a shell of the past towers over the changes around it.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

thank you city of san francisco !

[read about CROSSWALK marathon HERE ]

this morning the city of San Francisco installed the crosswalk spanning Sixteeth Street at Wisconsin. and a crosswalk spanning Wisconsin at Sixteenth. not more than 84 hours have passed since i walked the CROSSWALK marathon on Sunday.

2:36 PM THURSDAY . . . how i found out:

Ted Purves and i had a meeting at CCA & i was walking him to the bus stop to finish our discussion.

At the curb of 16th, he says: Look Anne, it's your crosswalk.

I'm looking at it but i don't believe it!

i phone my parents who are at the hospital with Aunt Mary.
my dad answers: hello?
I'm in the crosswalk Dad, I'm in the crosswalk.
what? what?
i'm in the crosswalk. they put the crosswalk in !! it's in !!
are YOU kidding ??? followed by the heartiest laugh i ever heard my dad laugh.

Kyle & Susan drive by as i am standing in the crosswalk. i scream, they come round the corner and hop out. we walked back and forth across, stunned. a huge white Mack truck with a full load stops well in advance and i blow kisses to the truck driver from the crosswalk.

installation view, two crosswalks in use :

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

fighting stallion (alabaster)

for my touchstone object, i bring in the alabaster fighting stallion

Anne Devine
FINART 604 12: Cross Discipline
Mark Thompson

13 September 2006
Touchstone Object(s)

The Fighting Stallion (Alabaster) : from a much adored and played with childhood toy, collected before I even took up riding or working with horses. Horses have been a lifelong interest and a livelihood at times. Reconnected with this particular model horse last week, and today identify strongly with it as a representation of the valiant fight, standing up for what one believes in, active grace, strength, agility, alert and ever watchful, a protector of self/others, a force to be reckoned with, and yes a very male spirit & attitude. wildness, untamable. Iconic alabaster a symbol of purity.

In relation to my work, I see the Fighting Stallion as a universal connection between mammal/animal-human. Stepping away from the wolf, tiger and to the horse for an even more understandable “icon” in an attempt to reduce the confusion thrown by the tiger. People don’t necessarily distinguish between the sub-species of tiger however the color variations between say a bay or roan or pinto or dk chestnut are visually obvious. ie: working in multiples of same model, using variations.

My work functions, hopefully, as a seed, a catalyst, a spark for others. I am particularly interested in how we relate to animals and our environment, and how we/our actions directly impact the lives of others (human, animal, etc). I am very interested in the ripple effect, how one person/action/idea can enlarge and gain momentum, widen audience.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

midnight move : studio 54

i said i'd be completely out on the 12th, and i am.
my old studio in the nave is absolutely empty.

as of midnight, i am officially moved into studio 54.

is this a horse barn or what ??

Susan came by earlier and helped me move the big stuff over with a hand truck . . . thank you girl, you are a godsend! Angela B. came across Sixteenth to the opening tonight at Wattis, and we drank a few with the crowd out in the nave between my cart trips over to Hooper 2. even with a big wheeled cart in front of me, it is not easy parting the crowd at an art opening. Angela will have nothing doing with that lack of motion. c'mom people cart here, coming through. they hear the mother in her voice and disperse momentarily to let me pass.

Monday, September 11, 2006

double vision

a good feeling, finishing CROSSWALK. is it walker's euphoria? post-marathon <--- what is the word ? this evening i pick up the digital rebel i still have on hand from the weekend to shoot some slides for tomorrow's presentation of my work - prior steps - for GROUND UP, BC's fine arts seminar. there is something completely delightful about having a camera in front of my eye. i am thinking that way again, seeing and recording. the weight, the sound. it is straddlling the old ways and the new. i shoot what, more than 1ooo frames tonight. and edit down to 92 images to tell a story for tomorrow.

For Safe Crossing, SF Artist Walks

[read about CROSSWALK marathon HERE ]

For safe crossings, S.F. artist walks
Melanie Carroll, The Examiner
photo: Jason Steinberg, Special to The Examiner
Sep 11, 2006 2:00 AM
Current rank: # 16 of 6,512 articles

SAN FRANCISCO - Faced with the need for crosswalks in their neighborhood, some people might write to their elected officials or call City Hall.

But artist Anne Devine, 41, pounds the pavement — for 26.2 miles.

Devine spent Sunday completing the equivalent of a marathon in an effort to shed light on the need for two crosswalks on 16th Street — one at Wisconsin Street and the other at Arkansas Street. Devine set out walking the rectangular-shaped area 161 times, for more than eight hours.

"There's a lot of foot traffic here," Devine said Sunday afternoon as she crossed 16th Street’s four lanes donning an orange fluorescent vest. "This neighborhood is expanding. There's a lot of traffic. The City can't keep putting it off. There's so much traffic."

Devine, a graduate student at the California College of the Arts, crosses the street almost daily to get to campus and her studio, she said.

"It’s scary to cross 16th," 19-year-old sophomore Stephanie Sandstrom said. “One lady almost hit me. I had to jump out of the way of her SUV."

A pedestrian, under California law, has the right of way at intersections unless he or she is walking against the light. Still, many intersections lack striped crosswalks to signal that drivers should look for pedestrians, according to Walk San Francisco, a pedestrian advocacy group.

Pedestrians make up 41 percent of traffic fatalities in San Francisco, compared with a national average of 13 percent, Walk San Francisco reported. Nearly half of those fatalities are seniors. The average San Franciscan is more likely to be injured by a person in a car than by a stranger with a gun, Walk San Francisco reported.

When Devine approached The City's Department of Parking and Traffic about installing crosswalks, city officials studied the issue, she said. The department found that two crosswalks were needed but couldn't fund the projects currently, Devine said.

Sam Fielding, program manager at DPT, could not be reached Sunday to discuss the matter.

As Devine continuously walked the rectangle pattern, friends stopped to offer support for the walk for which she’s been training for about four months.

Each time she completed the rectangular trek across and along the road, she marked the trip's number on her arm with a black marker and on a mechanical counting machine, like the ones seen at concerts or ball games.

"She’s passionate and dedicated," said fellow student Carly Troncale, 29. "When she gets an idea she goes with it ... even if it’s a bit masochistic."