June 06, 2002
cut and paste

I spent most of today sitting on my bed going through my giant bin full of magazine clippings. I'm a completely compulsive cut-and-paster. I gave myself a blister with the scissors. If you know me, you probably also know those ubiquitous black hardbound sketchbooks, which are always pooched out with pasted-in pages and all my polaroids and idea sketches.

People don't let me get near their magazines. I show no mercy. Your Communication Arts photo annual? Oops! But I really liked that picture! The second page of that really great story in this month's Esquire? It's a ragged edge where I ripped out the page because there was a cool photo illustration on the other side. I mean it. I'm dangerous. Give me your magazines.

I was digging through old sketchbooks trying to find ideas for a shoot this week and found a page of pictures I'd pasted in by a very talented artist/photographer named Kim Stringfellow. So I looked up her website and spent a really, really long time looking at it tonight. I like to pretend sometimes that I could possibly be that good.

A good part of her website is devoted to an ongoing project about the Salton Sea. I love the Salton Sea. I find it bizarre that even Californians, even people who live an hour away from it, have only heard of it because it's a bad Val Kilmer movie.

I went there on a sort of photo field trip in the early spring of 2001. I took pictures of a feed processing plant in Calipatria at night. Usually people freak out when you drive up at random and say "Hey, can I take pictures here?" but the three guys who were working there were completely enthusiastic about having a couple of random people take pictures of their job site at eleven o'clock at night. We set up our cameras and they brought us cokes and told us in broken English about the heat and their families in Mexico, and all the trains that come in stacked with corn, which gets roasted and mashed and piled into 20 foot high mounds of processed cattle feed. They seemed genuinely excited and proud that we were taking interest in this feed plant where they worked. I would be too, I wouldn't last two hours shoveling mashed corn in 120 degree heat.

Posted by kia at June 06, 2002 12:27 AM
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words and images are © copyright 2002-2005 kristen johansen or their respective authors. please do not reproduce without permission. send email to kia at bossanova dot com.