January 2011: I am preparing for my first real visit to Detroit, the city of my birth. I am a Californian, where I have been since age one when my parents packed me into a car to seek fame and fortune in LA. It is strange to be defined by something unknown but when asked if I am a "native" Californian, I answer, "No, I was born in Detroit." It seems time to investigate what that means. So I have come "home" on my birthday to photograph Detroit.

This blog is part of an accompanying journal about the project.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

FINDING CHINATOWN at Craig Krull Gallery (& in Windsor CAN)

My decade-long photographic project, FINDING CHINATOWN, opened last night at the Craig Krull Gallery in Santa Monica, CA. The opening was packed and the worked looked terrific, once I was able to get over my anxiety of this, my first solo show.

Working on the project has aided me immeasurably as I photograph in Detroit for FINDING CHINATOWN has honed my eye in how to capture community, and Detroit is definitely comprised of many communities. It is a very different project as well for in the Chinatowns, I so often walked alone, without preparatory research nor many conversations. Detroit requires a different interaction, a different preparation, some that challenges me but then, there is an edge that attracts me and is infiltrating my imagery that I seems to need in this next stage of my work.

Now, with a major deadline for FINDING CHINATOWN almost done - still more "walk-throughs" and press - I look forward to returning to Detroit, not only physically to photograph more, but here, now, in my studio to take the time since I was last there, finally review and reflect upon what I have already photographed and understand where I am and how I will go forward.

Below: several images from May's vist, fittingly, from Windsor's small remaining Chinatown block:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Last Shuttle Launch

Photo Courtesy of NASA
I grew up in the era of space launch, an achievement and industry that also fed my Southern California existence.

My childhood on the westside of Los Angeles, while now known for it's high-priced living, was that of living among the engineers and scientists working at Douglas, Rand, Lockheed and the myriad of aerospace and flight industries who populated the Southern California landscape. One of my parent's best friends was the inventor of the atomic clock and evenings spent in his presence were always memorable, one time sitting with him on the bench of a Hammond Company organ, shipped to him by Hammond to just "tinker" around.

Los Angeles was then dependant on just two main industries: aerospace and movies. They both offered employment to thousands/millions(?) of residents and brought others to this land. With the loss of aerospace, other business fills part of the gap but it continues to be an adjustment, not dissimilar to that with which my other hometown, Detroit, has struggled in order to evolve from its one-industry mode to an attractive destination for business and jobs.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

July 14th - Detroit: A Brooklyn Case Study

I earlier posted about the SUPERFRONT exhibit and conference, DETROIT: A BROOKLYN CASE STUDY, when it was installed in Los Angelers. Curated by Chloƫ Bass and MitchMcEwen, it is a wonderfully inventive, piercing and thought-provoking look not only at the issues of Detroit but those facing other urban areas.

The exhibition and discussions are finally coming to Detroit. I recommend this heartily!

SUPERFRONT is proud to announce that DETROIT: A BROOKLYN CASE STUDY opens at Marygrove College Thursday July 14

The exhibit includes works by: Chloƫ Bass, Dana Bell, Brent Birnbaum, Brennan Buck, Lynn Cazabon, Sara Conde, Philip Dembinski, Jill Desimini, David Freeland, David Karle, Erin Kasimow, Amanda Matles, Juan Alberto Negroni, Paper Tiger TV, Kaleena Quinn, Jon Stevens, Anusha Venkataraman, Margi Weir, Audra Wolowiec and others.

Within this exhibit across art, architecture, and urban documentary, SUPERFRONT also presents the 25 Inch RFP (Request for Proposals) – results from an international call to develop new construction at SUPERFRONT’s micro property in Detroit. Last fall SUPERFRONT invited artists and architects to propose a buildable project for 25 square inches of Detroit, located at 13949 Evergreen Rd, Detroit, Michigan, purchased in partnership with LOVELAND micro real estate. The winning entry, LIGHT UP! by Ellen E. Donnelly and David Karle, will be exhibited for the opening night only, before being installed at Evergreen Rd. The selecting jury for the 25 inch proposals included Paul Amitai (New York), Andrea Bauza Hernandez (San Juan), Christina Heximer (Detroit), Jerry Paffendorf (Detroit), and Craig L. Wilkins, PhD AIA, ARA, (Detroit).

DETROIT: A BROOKLYN CASE STUDY opens July 14, with a reception from 5:00 – 7:30 PM. The exhibit will remain on view through August 26, 2011.

DETROIT: A BROOKLYN CASE STUDY | July 14 – August 26, 2011 | 8425 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI 48221