Saturday, March 08, 2008

MiT review & book ideas

A quick background on the MiT project:

Moment in Time is the project name; I couldn't think of anything very original, and the grant application required a name. To see the full project summary, go here. But roughly, I'm working with 6 seniors with progressive memory loss at an assisted living facility to work on artists' books. I have until October 2008 to complete the project, and then the books will be exhibited at John Wilson Special Collections at Multnomah County Library, and at the assisted living facility. In addition, I'll be making 2 room dividers. (A cabinet maker will be making the structures, I'll complete them by filling in the openings of the lattice with gocco screens we used to make the books.)

The 2 months review:

1. Even though I have a family member with Alzheimers and I've attended a bunch of talks given by the Alzheimer's Association, one's not really prepared until one actually starts the work. So, although when I ran into some of the difficulties, I recognized them, I did NOT account for them in my project proposal. Which means I really should've given myself more time to establish rapport and trust with each person; instead, I kind of expected the same kind of working relationships I have had with others. So there isn't much room for anything to go wrong with the current schedule.

2. I thought each person would have a treasure trove of mementos to work with, but guess what!? By the time they move into an assisted living facility, they've shed most of those things.

3. I'm happy with how the situation has turned around with my mercurial senior #1. So perseverance makes a difference; and taking a 10 day break probably helped too (she didn't quite remember me when I came back). It was good luck that I discovered what she really wanted to do, but I'd like to think that it was also because I was paying attention to what she was saying.

4. So far, I'm on track to finish in time, but I have to keep working at at least the current rate to stay on track.

About the books in general:

The 6 books are intended to be a set, with some copies of each book going to each individual, and the remaining books to be in sets of 6.

Initially, I thought they'd be 6 books of different sizes, constructions, etc; they would go into a fitted box such that each book has a niche of the proper size. I rejected this idea because it seemed to be making a statement about their living arrangement, which was not what I wanted to do.

The next idea was to make 6 books similar/nearly identical on the outside, but wildly different on the inside. I want the initial glance to produce one reaction in the viewer, but a completely different reaction as they read the books. Chele left some thoughtful comments a few days ago, and I'm still considering it. I think I've been procrastinating on seriously mocking up the books because I am still trying to make up my mind. Although I suppose my first book is free to be whatever I make it, it's the subsequent books that I will have to struggle with.

Book ideas for my Rock Star senior (senior #2):

She has done a series of prints that read like little life's lessons. She started with pre-existing images (although she started to create original images towards the end) and wrote a sentence or two that related to the image.

1. Since they're like little notes, maybe to her kids/grandkids/friends/etc, with advice about life, one option is to create envelopes to contain the prints so that they're like letters. The 'letters' would then be housed in a slim box, unbound. The disadvantage of this would be the constant inserting/removing of the prints from their envelopes, which might damage them.

2. Since they read like sage advice, how about making them like the illuminated manuscripts—with her prints tipped in and decorative borders around the prints? The prints are not likely to be damaged this way. Disadvantage—I'm not sure her images will go with something like that. I will try one and see.

3. How about 'a roadmap for life' idea? This was the one I started mocking up yesterday—using a map-like background and a map fold, tip in the prints on the 'map'. The problem, I'm thinking, is that the 'map' needs to be pretty large, relative to the print size, to read as a map; otherwise, the prints cover up too much of it.

4. This one is about imagery, not structure. I want to use night sky as the background with bright stars, or fireworks, that light up the sky. Her personality is nothing short of luminous, and I want the book to celebrate that. I can see this working pretty naturally with either structure #1 or #2 above, but probably not #3. And since I've been working with fireworks, that's just on my mind anyhow! Is that lazy? As I'm typing in all these different options (and having to put ideas into words), I'm starting to gravitate towards option #1.

I got tagged!:

7 facts about me. I was going to do that tonight too, but it's getting pretty late, and this entry is already pretty long. I'll save it for another day. But here's a 'coming attraction'—I have an extra toenail on each of my pinkie toes. Almost like those cats with the 6th toe!

An hour later...

Now that I've had my snack, more caffeine (yeah, no wonder I have trouble're thinking, but really, it has noooo effect on me,, really), I think I have a solution to the 'envelopes problem' in book structure option #1!

And I wasn't lazy today, I did work, just not in the studio. Mostly worked on Alice's web site and Portland Open Studios web site updates. Once you get me seated in front of the computer, I just end up there for the rest of the day...

1 comment:

gl. said...

thanks for the review of the MiT project. i'm someone who can drink caffeine at all times of the day or night and still fall asleep like a log.