After seven years of work, I am finally printing my project, The Evening Pink. It’s been a long road to get here — it’s time to bring this book into the world.
I am launching this pre-order in order to support the cost of an independent print, to help get the word out about the project, and to offer my community an early viewing.
The Evening Pink
A Psychedelic (Anti-) Western shot at the twilight of climate fallout, The Evening Pink was created in landscapes severely affected by drought, fire, flood — the total disruption of seasons, ecologies. An intentional encounter with the Western genre, the project recasts climate change as the looming violence on the Western frontier.
Why look at Climate, and in this way?
I am still asking the same questions now as when I began this project seven years ago: why choose self-destruction? Why this path? The principal difference, now, is the urgency for critical engagement, which increases exponentially as the consequences of climate change become a part of everyday life. When I began this project “once-a-century storms” did not hit once a year, the record for “the largest fire in California history” had not been broken twice (three times?) in succession in the same calendar year, and my friends did not walk their kids to school wearing respirators.
To my great surprise — watch the video! — the Western genre became an incredible vehicle to look at the present situation, and to peer into deeper, structural issues at the heart of the American Mythology. I have been left asking unanswerable questions. I hope that with this book you will find space — to contemplate, to ask why.
My passion is in making photography books. But making them does not come with a windfall! Most artists lose money on books, and/or pay publishers to publish them. This is indeed a labor of love: I devote myself to the production of books because it provides normal people the opportunity to own art. A commitment to the physical presence and accessibility of art is at the core of my practice (see Shock and Awe). I believe that the ability to own art should be a possibility for individuals across the economic spectrum and that this broad accessibility positively impacts the direction of cultural production, allowing new voices to be heard, new pressures to be exerted.
If you don't already know — I've done this before. The major edition of my previous project was funded through a pre-order on Kickstarter, too — I’m proud to say that Shock and Awe is now in the collection of too many private and public institutions for me to count. It is now widely available to the public — and I would not have it any other way. I make exceptional editions: I source all materials ethically and I work with printers who are paid a fair wage for their work.
I will take The Evening Pink to press in October. All matters of design, paper, and materials are sorted. The last hurdle for this edition is the cost itself. I am launching this pre-order to manage the cost burden, to help get the word out about the project, and to keep my practice independent of unethical environmental standards and labor practices common in publishing. I use only the best materials. Fair labor practices. No cutting corners. No exceptions.
Who am I?
I am an artist whose research deals with violence and the American Mythology. I am known for long-form projects that begin with extensive fieldwork, gestate in studio, and result in books, exhibitions, and performance (a unique, narrative-driven method — equal parts performance art and oral tradition story telling). While my methodologies were born within the documentary tradition, and though I regularly lecture across the Humanities, I am an artist first, last, always.
My last project — Shock and Awe, an autobiographical project that I worked on over the course of twelve years, which examined the relationship between protracted war and homeland decay in the post-9/11 USA — resulted in a book and a touring performance, which was presented more than 100 times in museums, universities, and public spaces in 14 countries. The project forewarned of emergent fascist tendencies prior to the 2016 election (and Trump’s impending victory). It has since been called an “urgent rallying cry.”
While The Evening Pink will first be a book, a touring performance will follow in 2019.
Music in the film was made by Near Northeast. During the segment depicting Mickey, the audio performance was by Anders Bach Pederson, captured live, 2016.
Risks and challenges
There is always the risk that productions move slowly, or that unforeseen challenges arise outside of the printing process (life!). But having done this before, I am confident that this aspect of the project will move smoothly.
To be frank: I am concerned about the distribution and reach of independent cultural production in 2018. The last time I pre-ordered an edition, in 2012, the cultural landscape was quite different. We used blogs! Artists are now producing more content for less pay, on channels that ask for shorter encounters with artworks. This is discouraging when you make books, and want to facilitate a slow, thoughtful engagement.
I will greatly appreciate all help getting the word out about this project. If you are savvy with social media, I am sending you a high-five in advance! If you want to email folks, I would be most grateful. If you have any great media contacts it will be great to have a warm connection.
Also! I was just nominated for a major prize at the most prestigious museum in San Francisco. This was a major shock! And now this campaign comes with great potential. If this thing goes nuts, it might allow the judges to see the upswell of public support for this project. I have always been an independent artist, my work has never been easily placed — is this guy an artist? a photographer? an activist? It will be a great thing for this institution to see how a broad public finds and engages with the project.
THANK YOU, COMMUNITY! I WOULD NOT BE HERE TODAY WITHOUT YOUR SUPPORT.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)