Is it Real? or Microfiche?*

by Alden Cole on April 5, 2014 · 0 comments

aka Now & Then #1 (2014-1963), mixed media (woven microfilm on stretchers with appliquéd 2-D art), 20″ x 16″ • collection of the artist

7344WPDeja Vu? Does the artwork in the center of this new piece look familiar? Possibly you’ll remember the artwork Absolutely Abstract, posted March 19, which was originally created for my RISD Freshman Foundation 2-D class fifty-one years ago (the only surviving artwork from that class, by the way). So many friends questioned or commented on the textile-like qualities (“it looks like weaving, embroidery, string-work?”) that I decided to incorporate this early artwork into something totally new, a truly ‘Now’ and ‘Then’ piece. By combining it with contemporary weaving, I was able to make it eligible for entry in the Plastic Club’s upcoming April show, Fiber, Fabric & Textiles. The ‘fiber’ used in this case is National Archives declassified microfilm, large lots of which (in both the traditional black, as well as the unusual blue variety) were donated to the Dumpster Divers, an eclectic group of artist friends with whom I’ve been associated for almost a decade. Check out my January 10 posting — Archives Alchemy: The Art of the Dumpster Divers — for more info on the Divers, as well as reviewing pieces I made for that particular show, also incorporating woven microfilm. And tomorrow there will be another new/old artwork, featuring more weaving plus personal history …

* technically the material used is microfilm, not microfiche, which is a term denoting ‘sheets’ of microfilm, not ‘strips’. However there’s a poetry to the incorrect term that the correct one does not have; thus the title stands. Though it may be technically incorrect, at least it’s poetically pleasing to the ear, n’est pas?

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