right now!     ian g. cozzens updates, news, photos, and thoughts

print objects, printed objects

April 2, 2014 at 3:36 am

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Okay! I just got back from spending a good chunk of time in the Bay Area, for the “Southern Graphics Council International” graphics, print, & printmaking conference. I was nervous about attending this, I’m not sure exactly why, I think I was a little intimidated by the rumoredly academic/MFA-y focus… and maybe the general vague worry that one is not in the “cool kidz club” or something??? and maybe because I had been spending lots of time in the studio working in the past bunch of months, I was nervous about a highly social environment. but anyways, my fears were unfounded & it was awesome.

… and ultimately there were way more interesting events, talks, & shows happening as part of the conference than I could ever hope to do or see all of. Even in its aftermath I find myself overwhelmed by the feelings of “okay, I want to be in touch with that person, and that person, and follow up on that possibility…” with what’s probably an unrealistic number of people…

BUT, speaking of which, if we met there, or if you ended up with my print in the membership exchange, or if you found me through SGC, please be in touch — I would love to stay connected!

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(the print I made for the exchange)

I have been gathering some conference photo notes & links here on my tumblr, but this is definitely not a complete catalog of the neat stuff that I saw or was part of! And there is also a *very* partial selection of interesting letters and building things I saw out west, here on the instagram

Also, San Francisco, Oakland, & Berkeley (and Walnut Creek and Grass Valley/Nevada City, which I also visited, to see my cousins, uncle, and great-aunt!) were beautiful & interesting, and I was really excited to get to spend some time experiencing the different topographies, architecture, and ecologies of all those places… as well as noticing different ways that people interact in different cities, I feel like I am inspired to make more & better eye contact back here in Prov, as opposed to avoiding catching people’s eyes, which I think I have been doing? Hmm.

… more thoughts about (and images from) those travels soon…

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Anyways, one thing I was trying hard to get done before I left for California, but mostly failed to get done, was to finish some more of my bandanas (as visible here in their original incarnation/context) on different fabric (100% cotton this time) & trying out new inks. I did a bunch of printing (above & below, on Beth Brandon‘s fabric printing table), but didn’t get to finish the (even more time-consuming) sewing part…

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… so I had only one finished bandana to take with me and when people were like “OMG can we buy those??” I still had to say “aah no I’m sorry I’m still testing the colors and methods of making it” which is just aggravating and it’s pretty stupid to have too many ideas and not be able to get them all done!

BUT guess what I got when I was in California???

MORE BANDANAS. Just what I needed!

This seems to be a new bandana, “made in China”, from a vintage store in Berkeley:

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This is a real nice old one (also from the same vintage store), I think I have a similar-patterned one in just white (no black) on blue, but it’s really ripped & torn up:

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This one is faces of historic printers, made by students in the printmaking dept. at Ohio University:

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This one’s discharge-printed (aka, with a bleach paste) & hand-heat-set (to make the bleach work properly) (with a heat gun, on the sidewalk outside, apparently?!!!) by Matt & Lena at the Compound Gallery in Oakland.

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The Compound’s central clerestory and shared studio space, with various letterpresses & proof presses…!

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Another nice old bandana from the same vintage store as the earlier ones above, never seen one in this pattern before:

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And this isn’t really a bandana but instead an absorbent cotton towel in a perfect color, this was a gift from my uncle, a trauma surgeon, who says that a specific kind of kit for sewing up human beings comes with three of these towels, and that he always uses just one of them, and saves the other two because he doesn’t need them, and the hospital would just throw them away because they are no longer sanitized! and they are the best towels! so he keeps them and gives them to people.

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(…now you know where I originate from…)

Oh and if that wasn’t enough nice fabric for you to look at, check out “discharge-style” for more drooly times!

and… here are some more bonus shots: a detail of the shelves of a homemade print drying rack at the Compound Gallery…

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… and the custom-made tool for tightening the wing-nuts that keep the rack shelves in tension. So nice!

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tatyana yanishevsky!

October 5, 2013 at 4:32 am

My amazing friend & neighbor & studio-mate Tatyana Yanishevsky, a scientist, software developer, and textile artist, is having an opening on Sunday from 2-4pm at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, of her incredible knitted plant form sculptures. If you’re in New York City, check it out! I’ll be there. (It’s $10 to get in to the garden but totally worth it, I have been told??!!)

“Anatomically Correct Passionflower”:

anatomically correct passionflower


Meanwhile I’ve been working on a lot of logistics and taking care of business, and busting out the project which the pieces below are just a detail of, which I mailed to Abu Dhabi on Wednesday morning…

information bearing shapes

traveling — locally

July 17, 2013 at 4:21 pm

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While sitting outside on the bridge and working on the drawing for the Manchester St. Power Station image (actual print on paper on slight pause right now, totebags are in production and I think I’ll be seeing them soon?) I became aware that every day I was drawing outside I would come home and say “drawing outside! it’s the best! I love it! I feel great!” etc.

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So, when making a big to-do list / plan with Emmy a couple of weeks ago, I made sure to put “sunny days: go draw outside” on the list. Gotta put it on the list if you wanna get to do it! And too many summers have gone by when I’ve had a strong intention to sit outside & draw, that has never turned into actually taking the time to do that…

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After getting the tote bag design done (which ended up being a lot of adobe illustrator work on minute adjustments to vector points, driving me totally crazy) I was like “get me outside now” and started doing a bunch of bike riding & exploration & looking for cool stuff & sitting down & drawing it. Also taking pictures of buildings, hand-painted or otherwise interesting signs, and other things…

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Basically I feel like I am “traveling” in my own city. Not “traveling” like “on vacation”, but “traveling” as in letting your open-eyed-ness become acute, seeing things for the first time as you do when you are in a new place… being an alert observer of what is around you, looking for the patterns and noticing the ordinary. It’s pretty great to be able to open my eyes really intentionally to the place where I have lived for 14 years.

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Also I’m pushing myself to explore further & go places I haven’t been before, see things that I have never seen, that are hiding just around the corner from me in Cumberland or East Prov or Cranston or West Warwick… Bike is obviously the best vehicle for this kind of exploration…

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So there are no drawings in this post cause I haven’t scanned them yet! and partially because they are a little ‘fragile’, not physically but in my understanding of them, they’re still practice / process, not ‘product’ yet… which they maybe never have to be? or maybe what makes them interesting is because they are a record of the discovery that is taking place while they are being made… ? But I’ll put some scans up soon, promise…

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These photos are all from one day exploring in Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, Cumberland, and Lincoln, with the always awesome Meg Turner, who also loves bike riding and exploring, who can be recognized by her catchphrase re. abandoned buildings: “There’s always a way to get inside”. I didn’t finish my drawing yet… have to go back to the building & look at the light again…. !

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some linkssss:

Valley Falls Company (site of the first photograph). Also, the Blackstone River Valley is where all these photos are from & it’s beautiful!

Meg’s print of the Pawtucket/CF train station

The Club Juventude Lusitana in Cumberland…

Festa de São João


okay finally I got someone to take a picture of me next to this graffiti on North Main St (photo by Meg). I still have serious ambivalence about my representation in photos, so it goes… but I guess I can put this out in the world… !

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leading with the edge

October 12, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Your long-absent correspondent is very much alive over here in Providence. Summer happened, I helped at my friends’ farm every weekend (except when I went traveling to the south for three weeks), I rode my bike a lot, I met and hung out with amazing people, had really good conversations, had some experiences that were pretty transformational, lived my life: it was totally wonderful.

Then it got chilly, then we had one final weekend of hot weather, now the temperature is dropping by 10 degrees every day and the Buio cat is curled up in a tight little ball & it looks like Fall is For Real. Which means that it’s not time to stop living life, or time to stop being wonderful: it’s just a time for doing work & getting serious & wearing sweaters & buckling down to the task(s) at hand. Also I’m broke so it’s convenient that now there is much less temptation to go on long bike rides or hang out on rooftops or talk late into the night next to bonfires…

I just put up a big re-organizational update to the main Secret Door Projects website.

I did most of the work on this re-organization back in February and March, to get to show some different priorities & new directions that my work has taken since 2007 when I first made the SDP website… so there are new sections for comics & zines, fonts I’ve drawn, a “practice & process” section grouping process work & creative practice stuff together… and also a thing with a little bit about my gender identity & the fact that my name is now Ian!

It took me so long to put this update up because I was attempting to write all my family members actual paper letters about my gender stuff & name shift. This was totally overwhelming (I have a lot of cousins & second cousins) & I ultimately realized I was being held back professionally & creatively by not being able to be out — as trans and as Ian — on facebook & on the internet. It surprised me how much I felt like I was existing as a partial person, not being able to be be consistent & public about my name & my gender & identity…

So… unsurprisingly maybe, my cousins, aunts, & uncles did not all get letters from me yet… but I went ahead and changed my name on facebook (personal page, art page) and put up the giant website update. To my family who may be reading this (and anybody else who is confused), I’m sorry for the lack of more personal communication… but I’ll see you soon & we can talk about it then. Real quick: I identify as a boy (also occasionally as a man!), I use “he” pronouns, my name is Ian Gilpin Cozzens, I’m a queer which means (among other things) that I’m not interested in assimilating to any idea of the ‘normal’ in the realms of desire or gender identity… and I love you.

xoxo

— ian c.


…from my travels…

oh also now that things are more consistent for me on the internet, you can probably expect more regular updates of this page here… and I’ll probably be writing about gender & identity & stuff too… we’ll see how it goes.

“old or new?”

May 17, 2011 at 1:26 am

A favorite game of mine, when wandering around looking at buildings, is to try & figure out whether a building is old or new, whether details are the product of restoration or are authentically original, etc. Sometimes this is clearly apparent and not worth wondering about — sometimes it is very difficult! I was just in Philadelphia and I had the interesting experience of having to play this game with the remnant of a building…

My friend Dan S & I saw this with simultaneous mutual gasps of awesomeness: “aaah look how cool they tore down the house and you can still see the wallpaper!!”

Then I said, “wwwwwait a second, I’m pretty sure that’s some kind of recent art project… because I’m pretty sure I took pictures of that same side-of-a-building a while ago, with no wallpaper on it…”

We had a half an hour till I had to get on the bus, so we walked up to check it out (on Vine St, right north of Chinatown).

The wallpaper could have been screenprinted, but upon closer examination, it was some kind of digital output onto a glossy coating on a fibrous Tyvek-type material — we found a couple of scraps around the site! It was pasted onto the building side with a heavy (I guessed plastic-based) glue, and carefully cut and sliced to create a ripped-looking edge.

(click on any of these images to enlarge)

Ultimately the patterns are (more-or-less) too large in scale to be authentic Victorian wallpaper — and many of them are mirrored across an axis instead of repeating more subtly, also not a “real wallpaper” hallmark. But I think the artist’s intentions were not to replicate a historic thing, but to create something that would echo the intricate busy-ness of Victoriana, push passers-by — in a creative way — to think about the former inhabitation of the building that had existed in that place, and maybe make some people (like us) play the “old or new?” game…

I know nothing about the makers of the installation, but I can’t imagine that it was done without permission of the building owners; it would have been much too visible and time-consuming of an endeavor. Anybody know anything about it? Phila. folks out there reading this?

[UPDATE! Amy fills us in that this project, entitled “Home That Was”, was commissioned by the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, and done by the artist Ben Volta working with Phila. high school students, who designed the patterns. Here’s Ben’s blog & writing about the project, showing some of the process that they used in the creation of the mural… Thank you, Amy!]

I have many dreams of pattern– and wallpaper-making, and seeing this just amplifies them… What a neat project.

When I returned to Providence & my computer, I did indeed find these pictures from my cellphone camera, December 2009:

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