I did a series of performance pieces after I left the Printmaking department at Cranbrook, trying to express my frustration with how I had been treated and perceived. In this particular piece, I recorded myself slowly wrapping my head in newsprint and tape. It went on for several minutes until I nearly passed out. Never really showed it to anyone, but it was pretty cathartic after all.
In 1998, I was given the opportunity to lead a Portfolio Prep class with Tanya Gill. We taught a class of high-school students how to prepare some of their established work, but mostly, we helped them fill in the gaps of their previous experience with key pieces.
When I was thrust into the design department, I had a really hard time wrapping my head around what being an designer meant. I was not always fair or pleasant about it. This piece was a particularly reactive one, based on my ambivalence. I set up a kissing booth right on the edge of the main campus of Cranbrook, facing a small public street. My sign was cheap and illuminated, found at a yard sale. I sat and waited for a few hours, waiting for someone to actually pull over, and dreading that it would actually happen. Luckily, no one took me up on it, although one really rather drab Buick drove by several times to my growing terror.
I made this for a print exchange. It was my first printmaking project in the design department at Cranbrook, so I used this as a way to explore 4-color separation in screen print. I also added a secret message in a 5th clear coat. The photo is from a stock photo disk, something I had never seen before. Ah, the innocence of youth.
When I first arrived in the 2D Design department at Cranbrook, the only place I really had to print was an old, much abused 4 color xerox machine. The only 2 colors they had left was black and red, so those became my color scheme for my pieces. I slowly worked out the language and brand ideas on a series of these small packets, quickly losing the unfortunate title of “Living Aid.’ I also quickly brought back the hand-drawn logo.