*GAZE Archive Statement:
*GAZE exploratory project will aim to connect the audience over the ability to experience the wonder of the night sky, documenting it, and sharing the different perceptions we all have about the night sky.
Archive Name: *GAZEs (Galactic Archive of Zenith Explorations), reads as ‘Star Gazes’
Documenting the ongoing social history of stars, *GAZERs is open to all levels of astronomers and star gazers. The *GAZERs Archive accepts documentation of all zenith* views, the view when you look directly up at the sky. Imagined and observed collections of stars alike are all accepted into this growing archive.
Documenting the ongoing social history of stars, *GAZERs collects facts, fiction and the ideas that float in between. Through collection, creation and preservation of the history of stars, the archive protects and promotes the human desire to gaze up at the stars and wonder “what could be up there?”.
*Zenith: “The zenith is an imaginary point directly “above” a particular location, on the imaginary celestial sphere. “Above” means in the vertical direction opposite to the apparent gravitational force at that location.”
I think this body of work can be broken up into three components. The wall works could be a series in and of themselves, while the archive, performance/participatory project and website function together as another thematic project. Thought they all are dealing with similar subject matter and materiality, the breath of themes and issues these works are trying to tackle is getting a bit out of hand.
I am completely fine with this, and this it is an important way of working to recognize. Especially within the context of this Exploratory Project, I was trying to figure out how I could use this new (to me) material of carbon paper and performance within the thematic scope of my pre-existing practice. I have broken up the work into two categories within the project, the light boxes which are more passive, and the performative elements such as the video, participatory project and website.
Part 1: Light Boxes
By layering paper strategically to limit how much pressure I apply to the back of the carbon paper using pencils and other tools like a sewing needle, Japanese punch, and pattern tracing tool, I can get different marks. It also results in a positive of my negative drawings being produced. By layering different projects I find these are becoming interesting drawings in themselves, showing the process, while the carbon paper shows it too but also the materiality.
Part 2: Performance and Participatory Project
On Friday May 4th the gallery had a small reception, and I invited attendees to submit to the archive. I am still waiting to get the documentation back, but I recieved a good number of submissions, from children and adults alike. Many of the drawings were of imagined stars and skies. The fantastical observations turned out beautiful in the carbon paper, which I will turn into slides and then add to the archive. The notes section of the form also turned out to be delightfully playful, and some notes ranges from just “M” from a 4 year old, to poems from adults.
I have had an embosser fabricated to stamp carbon copies for the collection, and am making small tags and labels for the objects I am making as part of the installation. A half to 3/4 pressure crimp seems to be ideal for read ability.
I think this tool adds an element of authenticity to the archive materials. Even though it is completely fabricated by me, it adds a sense of importance to all the submissions, and is a bit playful in the way it enacts the ritual of officiating or archiving to all objects.
Video documentation of a discrete performance can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oc5gpVKDh54
Part 3: Website
I have been trying to work with Google Maps API to develop an interactive map that allows one of my drawing to be tiled endlessly and for users to be able to pick a star and tag it with a name or any other textual information they may want, but I am having trouble figuring out the coding on my own. I have enlisted the assistance of my partner Jacob to help me in figuring out where the code needs to go, but this will be an ongoing project. http://map.stargazearchive.xyz/
In the meantime I have bought a domain, worked out format of the website archive and have made a submission page and about description: https://www.stargazearchive.xyz/