Saturday, August 25, 2007


Now that my temperature is sliding back from 100 down to something closer to normal, I am struggling to keep the apartment from creeping up to 100 to match the weather outside. The whole house has taken on a gothic air, curtains drawn, windows shuddered, with me at the core, wearing pink and snarfing watermelon to keep hydrated. I think watermelon has saved my life a number of times this summer as it is the only thing I can seem to "drink" without feeling gaggy after the first few ounces.

broadbeam © Laura Kicey

It was a rather foolish thing to do, going to Coney Island when you've got a cold and have to work the next day. But Mr. The Dust and I went, as promised. A little hackwheezycoughing was not stop us! Since apparently no one is going to Coney on a Thursday afternoon, it took us less time to get there than the Jersey shore. It was quite an odd collision of worlds. It felt unlike the New York I know (I've even been to Brooklyn before), nor Down t'Shore... it seemed more like a foreign country all its own. It was however every bit as grimy and kitschtastic as I had hoped.

dressed up
dressed up © Laura Kicey

We had some unexpectedly killer tacos at Doña Somebodies down some alley off the boardwalk. The weather was the complete opposite of everything we had been seeing at home and on our drive. It was barely warm, with shots of chill and a bit of sun. Then the mysterious fog rolled in and I felt distinctly like someone had accosted me and I was in San Francisco. Especially on the way home and the Verrazano was half hiding in the fog, which the Golden Gate never did once while I was there to see it. Of course, photography anywhere near the bridge is STRICTLY forbidden and advertised with great frequency in the vicinity. The paranoia did feel rather New York, now that I think about it, when at times I felt like I had slipped into Mother Russia.

hint © Laura Kicey

The sideshow 'freak' acts were not quite freakish enough, though the wolfman and fire eater were fun. Too many metal objects shoved up nostrils for my taste, not enough real spunk. I don't believe the contortionist could actually contort any further than me, even though her gag reflexes are obviously better controlled when sword swallowing.

whisk © Laura Kicey

I like the place on the whole, but I can feel them letting go. Since its fate is sealed I guess they don't have much choice but to lay down and wait for the condos to go up over them.
parable © Laura Kicey

I'm continuing to 'construct' things and Coney was the first place where I shot specifically for the project. We'll see how that works out. The process is both frustrating and a great mental exercise, not to be attempted on zero sleep and a flaring temper. My will to pursue isn't flagging just yet. Onward!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Coincidental with my last post about feeling like an animal, I started the morning this morning with receipt of something like a death threat from an ALF zealot, who had decided that I was responsible for killing some deer whose heads appear taxidermied next to a gothic panel of the Madonna and child at an antiques market. That I also worship Satan for putting God with murder. Etc. Mentioning on her flickr profile that "i would not hesitate to wipe out a animal killer or abuser, in seconds flat and i would give you no mercy, just watch you die".

escapade © Laura Kicey

Meanwhile, back in the land where I am just slightly ill rather than completely dead for crimes I didn't commit, I went to the doctor today. My specialist. And it turns out that the health epiphany (which I am too lazy to link to) was pretty much on the money. However to clear up the mystery of where it stems from exactly, so as to make it operable, I need to first undergo an Exam Under Anaesthesia. As exam while conscious this afternoon made me shriek and contort in an unhelpful manner. I feel rather odd having been handed the health answer by my mother, an LPN, who never even examined me. What does this say about my doctor? I mean I think self-diagnosing is creepy, but if your doctor can't be bothered to figure out what is wrong with you what choices are there?

underwritten © Laura Kicey

After lurking about the hospital for almost 2 hours in varying states of undress, I rolled on home and the little cold I've been nursing since yesterday let loose a spike of fever and I got chills I couldn't shake for an hour. But I am feeling much better now. So much so that I have promised Mr. The Dust and myself that we are going to Land of Infinite Amusement tomorrow. I will go wall shopping amidst cotton candy feasts, and tea cup whirl abouts. If ALF doesn't bleed me dry first.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007


There are so many ways to tap into your inner animal, and it looks like I have three sure-fire methods, since today I am reaping the rewards.

1. Go to a Pet Parade

Sounds quite possibly lame. Is actually silly. Was kinda enjoyable on a purely guilty pleasure level. But watching people who have worked really hard to dress up and train their dogs in elaborate ways is kind of entertaining in a way you can feel good about, one step removed. I don't dress up my cat. She would eat me whole.

whippling © Laura Kicey

1. Go see a Hardcore Show in a Bumblefuck Town

Guaranteed you will want to beat someone up afterwards. I didn't go to see hardcore bands play. I went to see Night Train to Terror, who were awesome, as always. We had to wade through some truly questionable music and smokescreens to get to that point of the night, but they made it worth it.

burl's cymbal
burl's cymbal © Laura Kicey

1. Go to a Cat Show

Advanced cat primping always leaves me in slack-jawed wonderment. I love it. I would do it, possibly. I would feel slightly ashamed, but for over two hours I couldn't stop going awwwwwwwwwww, sincerely. Convention centers are magical vortexes where extremes of society converge. And when you hang out on the edge of such extremes and enter, it is easy to get sucked entirely in.

four senses
four senses © Laura Kicey

I was especially drawn to the above beast for his particular 'specialness'. Jacob, a 3-year-old ragdoll was born without eyes. Since his brothers and sisters were show cats, he has been travelling around since the age of two weeks. Every new place he goes, hotels and other homes, he makes a little sound and smell map and kicks back and takes over the place as though it were home. He was playful and confident, despite the initial impression that he was taking a nap and didn't much want to wake up. Though he could only show in the "Household Pet" category (for animals that have been altered, which normally means declawed or neutered), he was winning oodles of awards doing so.

When you mix these three things together, the response is apparently, make something. I'm not sure if it is something good just yet. But I have been itching to make a coherent, ongoing, self-contained project for some time. I just had no idears. Then I had the idear but no idea how to make it work.

Today, I just dug in and started making up the rules as I went along. This is how my project construct came to be. I wanted to take existing photos or walls, doors and windows, or ones shot specifically for this purpose and redesign them into what I would call my aesthetic ideal of a wall. As I worked for a couple of hours and sifted through my stack of source material, I started adding in tree shadows, faded painted typography and extraneous textures... using 3-6 images, I built imaginary walls.

All elements have to agree on a basic scale and perspective (or lack thereof since these are all very 2D thus far).
They should be physically possible despite not existing.
The colors have to harmonize, but I can change them to achieve that.
The individual elements can blend with each otheor sit on top of each other.
Sources should not be used more than once, for now.

So here is an initial taste of what is on its way... though who can say how far it will go:

hideaway © Laura Kicey

invisibles © Laura Kicey

delicates © Laura Kicey

welcome © Laura Kicey

Its rather fulfilling also to see really old photos come alive in ways I never envisioned. I figure since I have been doing this sort of manipulation to images of myself since I picked up a camera, this sort of work certainly isn't going to harm the integrity of a wall or 50. It is the culmination of all the things I adore, design, color, photography (and my most oft revisited subject matter- typography, windows, walls, plant life) all tied up neatly. Taking all of these very sort of serendipitous things I have stumbled upon for years and building something precise out of the them. I'm... like... making art. Unheard of. I might consider trying to pitch this for my upcoming show if I can create enough... And I welcome you, blog readers to let me know how you feel about this stuff I've made, I'm part excited part insecure, venturing into what seems wild new territory. Let the commenting begin!

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007


A bevy of attempts have been made to turn the ship around and have some good times, while I have been thinking gray dismal thoughts. And the latest few have actually worked for the most part.

gossip © Laura Kicey

Last-last Monday, to start the week off right, I went to the hospital to sit perfectly still for 45 minutes in a tiny plastic tube that makes deafening noises. Since I needed a dye injection I have a giant bruise on my arm that I decided was the shape of a dodo, so to improve upon the marring, I have drawn a ballpoint pen tattoo of a dodo on my arm. Much less scary now. The MRI showed nothing terrifically abnormal, some lymph nodes that are a little puffed up which doesn't come as a surprise. So next week I see my specialist, and what he may or may not know fills me with dread. Nurse Mother did some reading a couple weeks back and had a Health Epiphany. While I cannot describe with any exactness here, my hypothetical prognosis basically explains everything that has happened to me in the last now 7 months, including things that would be symptoms, that were ignored as unrelated... and why I don't heal. The more I read about this, the more I filled with relief. If this is indeed what I have going on inside me, the better the possibility of actually fixing things, for once.

pearl s. buck
pearl s. buck © Laura Kicey

Work for Mr. D has been taking him and occasionally myself into what we considered off-limits territory.

Jersey. The land that hates on us hardcore.

As in the name of health and comfort I take vinegar and then soak in a bath of it, we have delved into explorations of the Jerze, and much to our surprise, have found many a delight therein.

This last weekend found us in the Pine Barrens. Voluntarily crossing state lines to the east without promise of payment. Though I did take a great deal of stock-worthy shots (and little else). Seeing as the PBs cover 1.1 million acres, it isn't exactly as though one day trip and we've got the area completely under our control.

brushfire © Laura Kicey

We started off in Tabernacle and tried to get ourselves lost, which is generally our most effective tactic... thinking we'd eventually see something worthy of note. And we didn't. So I picked a rough looking side road to turn down off the main route, and moments later we were headed down an "unimproved sand road" (overstatement of the century), bouncing and swerving all the way. We found a cranberry bog, though there is really no shortage of them, a campground (likewise), a lot of deer, and well, pine trees.

thicket © Laura Kicey

I had a half a tank of gas. The car seemed to be holding out, we were only driving about 10mph tops, because it just wasn't possible to drive any faster without your pimped out SUV.... but there was this palpable tension that grew the further we drove along this tiny little excuse for a road. There is no cell reception. This road isn't on a map. Mr. D-Navigation surmised our general direction from tree shadows, but this did not prevent the fear of my little car dying.

Just when I was giving up all hope, suddenly we were deposited on a main route, possibly the one we had been driving on previously, moments away from the entrance of Batsto Village. I have problems with going to historical sites, while I like the information I can gather from reading, I prefer the info that I gather with just the visuals... seeing as its the making of the visuals that might make me the money... in the most desirable fashion. Part laziness, but partly good business. If my eyes don't find a use for it, I can't sell it. Must have an idea or be beautifully abstract just for me.

rib cage
rib cage © Laura Kicey

I'm thinking in ways I haven't before, due to a different kind of loving push from Ms. Wiernik of Yo! Darkroom. I've been given a solo show in April of 2008 and I am bristling with excitement. But I also want to give it something new that my other showings have lacked. Coherence on another level, and I am trying to prod the pictures to tell me how they would most like to be viewed in the space.

recoil © Laura Kicey

I little piece of me has always wanted to do backlit transparencies, but most of me is so unfineart, I wouldn't know where to begin, or how much would be involved physically (construction and space wise) or financially. Also, although I am daunted and used to working ass backwardly, I would like to give myself an assignment, or two, to keep chipping away at over the coming months. Pine Barrens explorations are in there, kicking around, along with another. But I'll let that unfurl when it is actually set.

raise © Laura Kicey

Tomorrow, Mr. The Dust and I are headed off Central Pennsylvanianings. Night Train to Terror plays in Harrisburg and we are going a-flea marketing. It is late and my eyes have their own set of plans, looking at the screen is not on the list....

barren © Laura Kicey

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

bad news for people who like good news

Thanks Modest Mouse. First up publicity stunt poster:


Yesterday the story about the NYC public photography and filming permits was picked up by Associated Press and jiggled its way out to 100+ newspapers all over the country and then some. So thanks to all the people who listened to me ranting and started ranting themselves. If you live in NYC area and have a camera and some spare time at lunch today, August 2nd. Go to Union Square and join the shoot out. 11.30am-2pm I really wish I could be there.

Next up my personal publicity antics:

Muse Gallery in Philadelphia is presenting the national WORDS Exhibition for the month of August, featuring paintings, prints and sculpture. Juried by members of Muse Gallery, the WORDS show is on the theme of words as pure graphic patterns that communicate meaning in sound/thought and shape.

52 North 2nd Street (between Market and Arch) Philadelphia.

Exhibition dates: Aug 1, 2007 - Aug 28, 2007

Reception date(s): There will be a First Friday reception
August 3, from 5 to 8 PM

unspoken © Laura Kicey

I have a piece in the show! Come on out and sweat with me....and ponder what a sound/thought is!

In other news yesterday was titanically bad in all a of sundry ways. As some devoted readers may know, I've been dealing with an Ow since mid-February. Well as fate every two weeks would have it, I went to the doctor. Again. The one I hate. Its been a over a month since my surgery. Which is my third procedure now for the same thing. I never healed from any of them completely.

So upon visiting doc, he checks things out and says that he would understand if after 6 months now and three chances to make this better I was losing faith in him and would like to talk to another doctor. He said if I wanted him to keep treating me that was ok, but he said that in the last surgery he thought he had removed too much and 'overtreated' but, in fact, had not gotten enough and 'undertreated' me. So at this juncture he would recommend, yes another surgery.

So basically, he wanted me to give up on him and he had given up on me. He can't and hasn't and didn't fix me. Admitted defeat and suavely is asking me to get out of his hair. Laughs and says yeah I just treated another patient a couple of weeks ago for something very similar and she totally healed up, no sign of incision. That makes me feel like PEACHES BITCH.

(this next paragraph may be TMI for some)

So he says he'll give a call to his doctor buddy who is a gyno-oncologist. Don't let this make your hair turn gray, I don't have cancer. The guy is more surgically inclined, thus his word is evidently golden. Dr. G-O says I should get a pelvic MRI to map out all of my feminine mysteries and I should go be re-surgelled by another doctor instead, cos I am not cancerous. A urogynecologist. Whatever that is. Oh ok. That sounds seriously foul and I don't actually have those problems. So I meet with Dr. U-G in a 3 weeks, MRI, and continue to soak in the gaddam bath in the meantime... and wonder why my body doesn't want to heal very much.

Because I have not been shooting, instead sulking and prepping for a meeting I have with the coordinator of the spanky new Yo! Darkroom and Gallery next week, who might want to show my work, I will post another piece of visual information which I designed last night while printing my portfolio for said meeting. If you live near Willits, CA or San Fran and you like dancing and nature, well lucky you. I've got just the thing for you.

photos © Andrew Mogg

Of course there was some other unfun shit that colored the day babypuke brown which involved getting cursed by clients for things beyond my control and having to make calls on project disasters that were not my fault and being made to work at work when I was scheduled to be doing other things. But I found my lost debit card. And I have a fabulous photo portfolio. This must count for something.

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