evolving solarium.. with slides!

slides from the sunday market in colonial roma, mexico city

slides from the sunday market in colonial roma, mexico city

after too many hours in front of the screen, edwina and i threw our computers out of the metaphorical window to wander the sunday market. where we had posoles and mole enchiladas, stocked up on groceries (zucchini flowers, prickly pear, nopales, oaxaca cheese, hibiscus flowers and chamomile flowers for tea, 1 liter each of fresh-squeezed carrot juice, tangerine juice, and grapefruit juice — but i digress), and then wandered into the area where antiques and knick-knack- being-sold-as-antiques-and-may-very-well-be-antiques-one-day are sold. where we came upon fifteen boxes of someone else’s personal slides of people’s weddings, trips to acapulco, graduation days, birthdays, just becauses, and bargained for them all for 150 pesos.  i can’t stop looking through these slides.  a good day for us — perhaps an even better one for solarium.



  1. are you suggesting that instead of plexiglass we could use old slides to construct the light box of SOLARIUM? huuuuummm??? good idea

  2. yup, that’s the idea. and even though i said to myself “no more little pieces” after planetarium. oh… call me a glutton for punishment.

  3. ah yes… gluttons for punishment we might very well be. i think i’m ok with that, though! i also think that a solarium constructed using slides would be absolutely beautiful– reclamation’s version of stained glass!! however, i’m not sure if we should change the entire design or exclusively use slides… perhaps solarium isn’t a single structure but many, like stalactites? perhaps some are clear/white, emit soft white light (and vitamin d?) like sunlight through clouds while others are slide mosaics casting colors upon our visitors? perhaps we organize them according to a certain spectrum? or arrange them as a collage? perhaps some are shallow (close to the ceiling) and some touch the floor? perhaps we guide our visitors through them? an upside-down forest/ice cave of light?

    here are my concerns regarding the exclusive use of slides to construct solarium: using slides to create solarium could turn our glowing monolith into a photo-light-box, a scrapbook, something sentimental, something too much about people. my personal feelings are that we should avoid making a monument to people… perhaps i am too pessimistic/harsh/cynical? i do like humans! i just want to remain critical. displaying images of humans by humans is problematic for me– the risk of glorifying the past/the analogue aesthetic/fetishizing the collector/hoarder… i guess i should also mention that i have a hard time working with old family photos, etc. i can’t personally identify with that material because i have no experience with them/don’t have any myself. handling them might feel to me as if i am seeking an experience i didn’t get to have/remembering vicariously through some strangers’ images a life that includes family (or at the very least documentation)… this makes me feel very strange. of course, i assume i am the only one in the group who feels this way? and i generally enjoy trying things i know will make me feel strange so… i can’t wait to see solarium come to be.

  4. i’m not interested in only using slides, especially slides of people. i don’t think we need to restrict ourselves in this way. libraries are getting rid of loads of microfiche and microfilm as well. more text than people. and yes, then there are other illuminating materials, etc. to find and use and fit into all of this.

    regardless, i’d think going in this direction at least in part — creating a work consisting of reclaimed footage — would be quite the opposite of making a monolithic monument to people. we would be taking memories and knowledge that’re considered garbage and or simply up for sale — trashed memories and trashed books. for me, reusing/resurrecting these materials offers more of a criticism of people and the ease in which we throw away everything. not only things, but memories, stories, information. how little respect we offer history, knowledge, each other, and representations of these things. how the lack of mindfulness that comes with the Everything’s Disposable mentality with materials and nature inevitably extends to our relationship with one another, and how disturbing and idiot-making that mindset is. so quite the opposite of glorification.

    also, i like this idea of stalactites. or the thing being modular. again, going away from the monolith. going towards the idea of many parts making a whole. something that is portable. diy. a la terrarium.

  5. oh i seeee…. as always, kyoung: brilliant!

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