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Posts Tagged ‘plastic bottles’

This post is actually to announce a new collection that I have added to my pages section.  It’s more of an experiment…an idea that I have had for a while and only just now put it together.  Plastic bottles are objects that I have been photographing at the Falls of the Ohio for a couple of years now.  I see so many of these that I decided to order my image collection roughly by what color the bottles are.  I remember seeing works by Tony Cragg that were made with fine gradations of colored plastic in fact our local Speed Museum used to exhibit one in their permanent collection.  So, I guess I’m counting his work among the influences for this piece along with your standard box of crayons!  Most of these bottles originally contained soap solutions (laundry detergent, shampoo, dish washing liquid) or various car care products (oil, anti-freeze, gas treatments, etc…).  Of course, since they are all made of plastic, they are also derived from petroleum.  I think the best way to view this collection is to stroll down fairly quickly.  I think I will try to add to this collection as I go along throughout my Falls of the Ohio Project and see where it goes.  Look under my Pages section and look for the Plastic Bottle Color Spectrum tag.  Thanks!

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This is my 1ooth post!  I was really looking forward to writing this about two weeks a go when my computer crashed!  The real horror was that many of my Falls of the Ohio project images weren’t backed up.  I do have stuff on flash drives, CDs, memory cards, and yes, this blog, but the hard drive of my computer has the majority of my pictures.  That’s about three years worth of this project.  I still have another three years that’s completely analog-based that I could scan at a future date.  I’m not certain I have saved all my digital work, but I think it may still be there.  I’ll find out tomorrow, because it was a bit of an ordeal to get the family computer going again.  In the meantime, I was visiting the river and making sculptures and images from them.  Here is one story that takes place after the willow leaves have fallen and turned brown on the sand.  Winter’s chill isn’t far behind.

In my collecting bag were several small bottles the size used to serve alcohol aboard airline flights.  I decided to use them together on a single figure.  I found a piece of Styrofoam that could serve as a head and a few elements to create features.  Acorns become eyes, a plastic bottle cap serves as a mouth, the nose is some plastic electric insulating cap, the ears are Asiatic clam shells, and that tuft of hair is part of an old broom.  Those bottles mentioned earlier…I decided to string together like charms on a bracelet and I wrapped them around my polystyrene figure.

I conjured up this figure and imagined that he was a magic person with the power to intercede between worlds.  He wears the small bottles as amulets and as symbols of his office.  Bottles are important vessels because they mediate between exterior and interior realities.  The JuJu Bottleman comes to the Falls of the Ohio because he knows this is a really good place to find bottles of all kinds.

Strewn among the driftwood are plastic bottles that rode the last high water to this spot.  To the JuJu Bottleman, this is exactly what he is looking for.  It is uncertain what he intends to do with these bottles, but they serve some kind of important purpose that we may never know.  You can, however, feel a certain kind of power emanating from the collective energy of similar objects being grouped together.  Perhaps they serve as a battery for the imagination?  If one is good then more might be better.

Yes, I’m going to ask Santa for an external hard drive this year.  I have always intellectually known how fragile this data is, but my recent computer problem has accentuated that.  Pixels are like tiny beads of Styrofoam that are subject to fragmentation.  The notion that what happens to images in the electronic world finds a correspondence with the objects I’m manipulating and photographing in the physical world is an idea of interest to me.  The internet is a river that abrades and changes images as they appear in different contexts.  If I’m unable to retrieve my images from the old hard drive…I will accept that and think of it as a lesson learned.  I have other new discoveries and images from the Falls that I will post soon.

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