Thursday, May 31, 2007

mad scientists

In my haste/morning grouchiness, I neglected to mention in my post that the second issue of LAB, issue 1.0, is live/available/kicking ass everywhere it goes. (First issue, FYI, was issue 0.5).

lab magazine issue 1.0

You can read the full issue here

I contributed to the featured project on folk typography... an essay about my girl Violet Hobaugh.

I am proud to once again be a part of this fabulous publication and hope that I can make time to tell a story about carpet.

lab project 04: folk typography photo + essay by laura kicey

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This building, which I saw for the first time over a year ago, is nothing short of miraculous. So perfect and intricate are its colorful and varying degrees of decay, the fabric disintegrated to threads, the papered-over windows water stained and peeling, the rusted hinges, the empty places where windows once were.

process © Laura Kicey

It stands alone in a neighborhood of big white houses. Like a frail, naked old woman in a room full of hapless people wearing white tee shirts and jeans. No one will look at her, but she is as beautiful as she is delicate.

tatterdemalion © Laura Kicey

No one was out on the street. Did they ever notice it was there? Was there outrage that it was left this way? Had it died down? Did they continue to curse its being there. Did they secretly think it was beautiful and wish there was a way to keep it so forever?


Last night I brough my work up to Elizabeth Anne Interiors in New Cumberland to help curate the show, which is going up today. I have mountains of stuff to get together yet for the promotion effort. I'm excited but totally drained of energy.

I'm attempting to get the ball rolling financially in other areas by submitting to stock sites... but my first attempt, with Crestock (their submission process was easy so I decided to have a go since I was there checking in on my contest image votes already), has been inconsistent, but consistently disheartening. I've been submitting things that I think are conceptually relevant and technically sound. My last submission I was told almost everything was underexposed, but fine otherwise. So I brightened them and resubmitted and told that they were bad compositions or not stock material. Yeah I have no clue what I am doing, obviously.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007


For those in the central Pennsylvania zone... concrete info on my upcoming artist's reception:

It will be at
Elizabeth Anne Interiors & Gallery
204 Third Street
New Cumberland PA 17070
Owner: Liz Miceli 717-991-4287

(the above was all true last time, the next part HAS changed)

Official Arist's Reception
Saturday, June 23th from 4-8pm

Back in Coal Country yesterday under less than happy circumstance, I did stumble upon this phenomenal laundromat in Mechanicsburg on a walk while Night Train to Terror was practicing. Made the whole trip worthwhile. Oh and the Neato Burritos worked some of their own magic.

squeaky © Laura Kicey

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

sinking feeling

After possibly one of the worst weekends on record, I resurface to try and take a little of the edge off of the marriage pressure/arguing/sickness/death with some humor and titties. Maybe I will return to talk about the redneck wedding or maybe I will just show you a pile of American Cheese.

dairy downfall
dairy downfall © Laura Kicey

I have just entered the followin photo in Crestock's photo contest for the theme Feeling Sexy.

withdrawal © Laura Kicey

If you think it fits the bill, you can vote for it here (like last time, you do have to register to vote, apologies).

If you think this is really not sexy enough, you can look at other selections here.

Thanks everyone for your support last time!!

low hanging fruit
low hanging fruit © Laura Kicey

Another little pick me up from your friends in Schuylkill Haven. Get em before they rot!

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Friday, May 18, 2007

show down

I have some further information (though not yet completely specific yet) for the showing opening I have coming up soon.

It will be at
Elizabeth Anne Interiors & Gallery
204 Third Street
New Cumberland PA 17070
Owner: Liz Miceli 717-991-4287

Official Arist's Reception
Sunday, June 10th from 1-4pm. (probably, the date might be different).
Stay tuned.

reading into things
reading into things © Laura Kicey

With all of the miserable weather slated for the weekend, I may well be stuck indoors or wrapped in plastic. I may burst into hives from all the excitement.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

that type of girl

Fifty years ago, Max Miedinger gave birth to an unseen but omnipresent child, that is my (partial-pseudo) namesake. Helvetica, baby, you are looking good for your age.

Possibly readers scratch their collective heads at my choice, so in honor of reaching a half a century, I should like to shed a little light on the face behind the name.

well read
well read © Laura Kicey

I admire the versatility of what the typeface embodies in its character. How people either love it or hate it and sometimes both, because it is at once modern, a throwback, invisible and the picture of clarity. I like that it is utilitarian. And safe. And anonymous. And perfect. And boring. I like that it can be all those things.

followers © Laura Kicey

As a photographer and designer I wish to disappear into content as effortlessly as this typeface. The power of being virtually appropriate in any situation is very liberating. Especially in terms of making photographs, being able to create an image of something that is beautiful and resonant, but not necessarily a subject I have a vested interest in is the ultimate freedom of expression.

Helvetica I salute you.

Everything you ever wanted to know about my alter-ego but didn't know how to ask.

Make no mistake, I don't use it fanatically. In fact I rarely do, with exception of my brand, hardly ever. But I have to respect its broad appeal. No shortage of work for that kid.

In other news I am going to a wedding this weekend. In a fire hall. In north-central PA. It will likely be one of those can't-take-my-eyes-away-from-the-spectacular-bizarreness affairs. Which means I am looking forward to it in a sick way. To wash it down, Mr. D and myself will be scooting out to Hazleton to meet and speak with the artist Joseph A. Woitko, whose work we accidentally encountered while getting lost in Beaver Meadows a few weeks back.

swallow © Laura Kicey

Also I will be having an opening during the second weekend of June at a boutique in New Cumberland (outside Harrisburg) where my work will be shown for the month of June. Dustin's show follows in July, with an opening reception the second weekend of July. More details to come.

Randomly my photo of the Israeli band, Monotonix from last August turned up printed and uncredited in Time Out, Israel. I wanted to contact the publication but all emails to Israel I have attempted to send have bounced back, sending to and
Anyone with some guidance on how to get in contact with them would be much appreciated.

dissonance © Laura Kicey

This will be my last week of full time employ as a graphic designer. Over the last week, bits of my well-crafted plan have gotten slightly snarled in the fray, however, the revised schematics include a more profitable end, and my face behind a camera. Fingers and eyes crossed.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

compression artifacts


I was really sad to hear the news today about JPG Magazine. I want no part of it any longer, any organization that writes out the creative forces that started it is begging to kill the community spirit it was founded on. If they are so quick to turn their back on the founders, how fast would they screw over contributors? Divorcing themselves from the first six issues seems to be doing just that.

Derek Powazek and Heather Champ's sad story.

I am sure they will move swiftly onto better things. Good luck both of you.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

growing pains

transplant © Laura Kicey

I just remarked somewhere over in the flickrsphere that sometimes the worst days produce the most remarkable photos. Which sadly (I s'pose) makes a case for the rather annoying 'one must suffer for the Art' mantra so many are fond of.

I have had two rather shitty days bumper to bumper. Yesterday's mess involved driving almost 80 unexpected miles to get a project done, undone and redone... and vamoosed. Today marked three months after the Inital Ow started... well it never healed properly and I've had a new hole punched in me, much to my chagrin. Dressed up with promises that the new hole will somehow be better, even though it is bigger. And laden with the knowledge of how much the first one Owed.

just like nu
just like nu © Laura Kicey

How soon will I be new again? Gimme an hour!

Next Friday is my fake "last day of work" even though I will be back on Monday following doing all the same things in probably the same hole in the attic as before. Photography, or at least the making of new such photos, has been taking a back seat of late. Hopefully Nu Me will be able to get it back into gear swiftly.

seven signs of aging
seven signs of aging © Laura Kicey

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Monday, May 07, 2007

plugging the meaning of life

Its a moldy oldie, but I think this might have some life in it yet.

amphibious © Laura Kicey

I have entered this photo in the Crestock contest for images representing the theme The Meaning of Life

If you think it fits this theme, please go and vote for it here

Kind of a pain in the ass, but you must register with Crestock in order to vote. I really appreciate it if you go that extra step. If you think it is complete crap and wonder how a foot in water is the meaning of life, go here and vote for what tickles your fancy.

Thanks very much for your kind votes!

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Friday, May 04, 2007

arresting beauty

Since possibly forever, I have had this love/hate relationship with fashion imagery, fueled by the dueling impossible to attain beauty standards set as a precedent and the impossibly delicious creativity that erupts from it constantly. It is difficult to even write this much about it, because of how much the fashion industry and the media that support and expose it make us hate ourselves for the ways our bodies cannot ever be and the things too expensive or uncomfortable to own or use. Yet as a subject matter it remains compelling, if intimidating, territory.

I made a tiny sidestep towards conquering my fear of it this last weekend: I assisted Mr. D while he was shooting a couple of his friends who are putting together a stylist's portfolio of outfits they have created. I have, as a designer, worked on fashion as well as beauty-related projects. I understand the differing aesthetic needs of photography for both.

sing © Laura Kicey

I brought my equipment, to the asbestos factory, where we were to shoot, thinking I might take some photos of random stuff I stumble upon and maybe sneak in some portraits of the girls, since they're there and I have been unintenionally avoiding shooting people for months in seems.

back to the wind
back to the wind © Laura Kicey

D had brought a bare bones setup, one small softbox, an inverter and a reflector disc. We started shooting in the main hall of the power plant. The sunlight was fairly intense, and coming through the remnants of the window panes, cast a stunning grid of shadows all round. The way made the girls' hair shine was fairly fantastic on its own, but getting an exposure that wouldn't leave their faces deeply underepoxsed was a challenge, since I had no other light source to work with. And I was just playing anyway, seeing if I might catch something nice.

kick © Laura Kicey

It was interesting to work with two models with completely different demeanors and levels of 'experience' in front of the camera, getting a feel for what each needed in terms of guidance from the photographer.... finding what made them feel comfortable or awkward, trying to bolster confidence so that even if they weren't completely at ease, they could fake it convincingly. Even if that meant that to get them to stop worrying so much about how they looked, they would have to worry that the photographer was going to take a step backward and fall into a gaping, 15 foot deep hole and perish. That tactic actually worked.

silver © Laura Kicey

We had just decided after about 3 hours of shooting in the power plant, that we might consider another building. We packed up and started heading back from whence we came, Not really considering the fact that the strobe flashes would make our presence known, we walked by one of the large holes where a window had once been and spied a cop car, pulling to a halt.

flight two
flight two © Laura Kicey

Though I was out of view, I walked out to the ledge to speak to the officer. Quivering with nerves. He explained how he had seen a flash and thought it was nothing, sunlight catching on something, but then saw it repeatedly and needed to check it out... how it was dangerous in there and we really shouldn't be in there. So I offered to him how I had aquired permission from the owner to be there and how we don't hold him liable for any tumbles we might take and that we are not there to destroy anything just take photos, as evidenced by our mountain of equipment. He took my info and recommended that I let them know beforehand when we would be planning to shoot there in the future so if any dead bodies turned up our whereabouts were accounted for.

away from home
away from home © Laura Kicey

He took down my information, didn't ask us to leave and we all went on our way and continued to shoot. I fully expected to hear from the woman who I had asked for permission to enter the premises, as it was a two+ year old request... or to hear from the cops again. But. Nothing. Almost a week later.

tether © Laura Kicey

Being at the asbestos factory is always, in and of itself, a mixed experience. The fears of the inherent health-related dangers I attempt to bury about the place. The fact that I am actually allowed to go in and photograph it in all its decaying glory (which most urbexxers would probably find disgraceful). The filth and the beauty. Seems fashion and this abandoned gem were made for each other... chalked up to oddly guilty pleasure.

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