Visiting No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works Visitors may now request an appointment to reserve the reading room or annex through the contact page for up to two people, for archives research, reading, writing, or consultation, or by sending an email with a suggested time, your area of interest and any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org A week’s notice is preferred, but shorter notice may be possible, so just reach out. Please read the updated Covid-19 protocols for visiting before reserving.
The Evening Read: Beginning May 25, Wednesday evenings from 7-9 pm, The Evening Read will be open for quiet, small group reading the first hour and conversation the second. There will be outdoor tables in good weather and indoors in the annex. Guests are invited to BYOB- bring your own book and beverage, or browse the materials on the reserve shelves of titles selected from the reading room’s archive collection of fine press books, photo books, poetry, journals and works on paper. During the second hour of conversation, tea and water will be available for those who prefer a non-alcoholic beverage.
The Evening Read is reserved on a first come, first served basis, but walk-ins during good weather will be accommodated if there’s seating. There is no cost, but once reserved, please honor this commitment or give at least 24 hours notice if you can’t attend so those on the waiting list may participate. No.3 Annex reserves the right to cancel this event due to unforeseen circumstances and will notify guests promptly should this be necessary. Please sign up for the email list to receive announcements of future dates.
COVID-19 Policy: The following measures will be in place for visitor’s safety: guests must not have been recently exposed to Covid-19 and wear a medical grade KN-95 mask regardless of vaccine status. Masks may only be removed indoors for drinking while maintaining a safe social distance, or if one is seated outdoors. If you’re not feeling well, please stay home. If you’re at an increased risk of severe illness, you should consider waiting until good weather for outdoor sitting. No.3 Reading Room cannot guarantee that visitors will not be exposed to Covid-19 during your visit, so attendance is at your own risk.
On this day before the Celtic feast of Samhain leading us into All Soul’s Day, I feel a renewed sense of life and energy that I’ve longed for in the twenty months since I closed the Reading Room to the public on February 29, 2020. During that time, I had to reconsider what its purpose is and how I can reopen safely while serving friends and colleagues through the sharing of books. Anyone who has visited No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works in person knows what a cozy and intimate space it is. It’s just the right size for three or four people to sit, read and visit and has hosted many more for openings and readings. But it can no longer serve as a gathering space for larger groups, workshops, openings, screenings or readings as it once did.
We were very concerned about how to resume programming and safely invite people in, even if it’s with just a few folks together. So as the pandemic dragged on in wave after wave despite the promise of a vaccine and a “hot vax summer,” my husband and I decided to make better use of the long stretch of crumbling asphalt driveway adjoining our building to create a larger, safer space where gatherings of this kind can be held. We spent much of 2020 and the first half of 2021 planning, designing and completing the addition we call No.3 Annex.
This flexible space was designed with a high quality filtered HVAC system with fresh air intake and circulation and is spacious enough that four to six people can be in the annex at a proper social distance. The front of the addition has bi-fold doors that open out into a courtyard space with planters and benches for larger gatherings in warmer weather. There is also a large landscaped patio with trees and ample seating in the back. We will resume our larger gatherings and workshops beginning in Spring, 2022 weather permitting.
Meanwhile, the pandemic also brought a need to update access to No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works for individuals and small groups. Visitors can now request an appointment through the contact page for up to two people for archives research, reading, writing, or consultation, or by sending an email with a suggested time, your area of interest and any questions to: email@example.com. A week’s notice is preferred, but shorter notice may be possible, so just reach out. Please contact me if you’d like to be placed on my email list for updates on upcoming news and events. I only communicate through this email address and this website, so please don’t use social media to reach me, I no longer monitor those accounts.
And, beginning Monday, January 10th, 2022 from 7 – 9 pm, I will host the first weekly Evening Read. Visitors can reserve a space for an evening of quiet reading for the first hour and conversation for the second. Guests are invited to BYOB- bring your own book and beverage, or browse the available materials on the Reserve Shelves selected from the reading room’s archive collection of fine press books, photo books, poetry, journals and works on paper. During the second hour of conversation, teas and water will be available for those who prefer an NA beverage.
The Evening Read is reserved on a first come, first served basis with a total of four guests permitted per session. There is no cost, but once reserved, please honor this commitment, or give at least 24 hours’ notice if you can’t attend so those on the waiting list may participate. Please email me to receive announcements of future dates.
The last twenty months have been strange and challenging for us all in many ways. I used this time, along with project managing the addition of the annex, to continue to acquire and read new poetry and photobooks, to research, write and photo edit longstanding personal projects and participated in Extraction: On the Edge of the Abyss by installing window exhibits of work by various artists, which are now complete. Current programs will focus on individual and small group reading, research, writing and conversation until spring, when programs developed throughout the winter will be announced. I will continue to send updates through my email list and will begin a series of book reports later this week, featuring new acquisitions as well as presenting little known but meaningful book projects from the archive’s collection. I can’t wait to welcome you back, please reach out when the time is right. And may the good spirits of this season and ancestors watch over you and keep you safe.
COVID-19 Policy: The following measures will be in place for visitor’s safety: guests must be completely vaccinated and show proof of vaccination at the first visit; not have been recently exposed to Covid-19 and wear a medical grade KN-95 mask regardless of vaccine status. Masks may only be removed for drinking while maintaining a safe social distance. If you’re not feeling well, please stay home. If you’re at an increased risk of severe illness, you should consider waiting until warmer weather for outdoor sitting. No.3 Reading Room cannot guarantee that visitors will not be exposed to Covid-19 during your visit, so attendance is at your own risk.
No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works is open by-appointment only. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
EXTRACTION: Art on the Edge of the Abyss is a multimedia, multi-venue, cross-border art intervention which seeks to provoke societal change by exposing and interrogating the negative social and environmental consequences of industrialized natural resource extraction. A global coalition of artists and creators committed to shining a light on all forms of extractive industry—from mining and drilling to the reckless plundering and exploitation of fresh water, fertile soil, timber, marine life, and innumerable other resources across the globe—the Extraction Project will culminate in a constellation of nearly fifty overlapping exhibitions, performances, installations, site-specific work, land art, street art, publications, poetry readings, and cross-media events throughout 2021 and beyond. Visit www.codexfoundation.org/extraction for more information.
No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works is participating as a venue in this “ruckus” by presenting projects by several artists working to shine this light through photography, printmaking, publications, installation, video and painting throughout summer and fall, 2021. From August 26 – October 4, re-scaled reproductions of Mariam Aziza Stephan’s original drawings will be on display in the reading room’s storefront windows as an outdoor exhibit.
On view are four works-on-paper selected from the larger body of this work. The originals are small, intimate 6 x 18″ India ink drawings on paper that has been cut open and reassembled with additions and deletions, like the sacrifice zones they represent.
Darkened skies, shadowed craters in the ground, piles of rubble, pockmarked walls, bridges with railings turned into roadblocks, houses with the walls sheared off, boulders that block paths, slabs of broken concrete, rising dark water filled with floating debris, felled trees and sinkholes. The landscape itself is the threat. These works convey the chaos that war and environmental disaster brings to a place.
As we look around we wonder, where is this, what happened here, why? The once occupied landscape is a no-go zone. Streets are passageways that must be negotiated and scrutinized for dangers both underfoot and overhead, for hidden traps or threats. Water has become fouled and dangerous, air has become rank, mingled with particles of soil and poison. Hostile territory, a ravaged landscape– the disasters of war, environmental degradation and man-made zones ravaged for resources then abandoned. Where did everyone go? And despite the fact that these are unspecified sites, today as I installed this work, terrorist bombings further scarred the land and people in Mariam’s ancestral home of Afghanistan. Her series, long in production and planned for installation over a year ago, could not be more current, or relevant, or personal– yet tragically universal. –PMR
During a pivotal trip to Egypt in 2002, I found a landscape that both informed and provided a framework for my work in both a tangible and conceptual way. In the Siwa Oasis in the Western Desert, I experienced the ground as a shifting, undulating surface. The sand was alive: it swallowed histories; it ached in its agelessness; it pooled like milk. It scratched and clawed and eroded and sank and etched buildings. The sands of this unrelenting desert stretched and yawned innocently like a resting baby and rocked like ocean currents. It became the ground and the air; as ground, it simultaneously appeared solid and fluid. This landscape gave me a visual and tactile language to work with. By envisioning land and water as powerful and brave characters that endure plundering, exploitation, and neglect, I can explore the raw and stark echoes of what remains and struggles to survive.
My works are of the aftermath. Battered casualties memorializing the ground around us as reminders of our collective loss. Sir Simon Schama argued that landscapes are culture before they are nature. Landscapes reflect what we value or squander; the places I construct explore this state of psychological, political, and environmental upheaval. They do not represent a single place rather an aggregate of no-go zones and those moving in that direction. The sense of loss, polarization, and fracturing that I have attempted to construct in these images is meant to simultaneously reflect upon and memorialize the time we live in and recognize our shared accountability to the land around us. –MS
Also available for viewing and purchase is the Extraction project’s Megazine exhibition guide that includes writing and artwork by participating artists and organizations serving as sites for this global art ruckus.
On display in No.3 Reading Room’s windows July 8 – August 14, 2021
Second Saturday outdoor event with the artist, 2 – 6 pm, July 10
469 Main St. Beacon, NY 12508
EXTRACTION: Art on the Edge of the Abyss is a multimedia, multi-venue, cross-border art intervention which seeks to provoke societal change by exposing and interrogating the negative social and environmental consequences of industrialized natural resource extraction. A global coalition of artists and creators committed to shining a light on all forms of extractive industry—from mining and drilling to the reckless plundering and exploitation of fresh water, fertile soil, timber, marine life, and innumerable other resources across the globe— the Extraction Project will culminate in a constellation of nearly fifty overlapping exhibitions, performances, installations, site-specific work, land art, street art, publications, poetry readings, and cross-media events throughout 2021 and beyond.
No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works is participating as a venue in this “ruckus” by presenting projects by several artists working to shine this light through photography, printmaking, publications, installation, video and painting throughout summer and fall, 2021. For the month of July into August, re-scaled reproductions of Zachary Skinner’s original paintings will be on display in the reading room’s storefront windows as an outdoor exhibit. Of this work, Skinner says:
I attempt to represent human encounters with a damaged post-industrial landscape. The imagery draws from scientific realities about our present-day environment and impending threats to our existence on Earth. My primary concerns are the need to confront climate change, the polluting of our land, resource wars, and the displacement of disenfranchised peoples and whole ecosystems in the name of progress. My work illustrates that, when confronting these realities, the path to a sustainable future lies within our shared inner strength and creativity.
My paintings reflect my conceptual interest in the Anthropocene landscape and geo-engineering. Some recurring motifs in my work are invented structures that interact with sunlight, wind, and/or rainwater, as well as inhabited nomadic huts, all situated within a barren landscape. Along with portraying these structures, my work tells a narrative of the increasingly violent weather of climate change, and the technological sublime, to reflect on the dangerously dysfunctional interdependence of man and nature. I create paintings that flow freely between authenticity and parody, fetishized forms and flatness, the Romantic sublime and post-apocalypse, invention and destruction. -ZS
Also on view on Second Saturday only, original intaglio and relief prints from this series.
About his work in printmaking, Skinner states:
Printmaking challenges me to instill precision and clarity onto the most fleeting, inexpressible aspect of my landscapes: changes in atmosphere, climate, and violence to the land. The inconsistencies I cause to the plate: scratches, slips, imperfections, give life to the landscape. My faults in the process of manipulating the ink, and the unique surfaces of each piece of paper breathe a bit of chaos, dust, and air into the land.
Representing human encounters with a damaged post-industrial landscape, this body of work draws from concrete realities about our present day earth. Murray Bookchin writes about a split that happened between the Human and Nature, via the transition from Nomadic Life, into Societal Life. Could our environmentally destructive legacy of Pollution, Nature-domination, Environmental-Colonialism, and Neo-Liberalism have been avoidable? How might a person in this alternate timeline survive, and relate to the land? I imagine this parallel story, where engineering, and surviving the harsh elements, is in the hands of a wandering nomad. Although the human figure isn’t present, we see life scenarios through inhabited spaces, and simplistic technologies to interact with the elements. Some mechanisms generate wind-power, hydro-power, or solar, and some are shelters with a duel function of collecting rainwater for plants and drinking. In the structures’ precariousness, and sometimes futility, they reflect on the fragile relationship between humanity and nature.
Printmaking is an inherently democratic medium. It makes sense that if art is meant to inspire change in this world, it needs to be accessible. Ideally, the economics of art could be for the greater good, but also sustainable for the artists and cultural institutions we love.
To that end, for each print purchased, a percentage goes to Earthjustice, a nonprofit fighting to protect the Earth in the courts. Chances are, if you support another environmental cause (for example the Sierra Club, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, or the Humane Society U.S.), Earthjustice is representing them in courts thanks to the contributions of eco-conscious donors. As a special initiative, in conjunction with Extraction, Photo Book Works and I will donate 20% of proceeds from the prints to Earthjustice, these prints will be available through August 9th. Prints may also be purchased by contacting email@example.com
Exhibit B: Bethlehem Steel, Hudson River Industry & the Union Electric Power Plant
Prints by Kyle Gallup
On display in No.3 Reading Room’s windows June 2 – July 6, 2021
Second Saturday outdoor event with artist, 3-7pm June 12
469 Main St., Beacon, NY 12508
EXTRACTION: Art on the Edge of the Abyss is a multimedia, multi-venue, cross-border art intervention which seeks to provoke societal change by exposing and interrogating the negative social and environmental consequences of industrialized natural resource extraction. A global coalition of artists and creators committed to shining a light on all forms of extractive industry—from mining and drilling to the reckless plundering and exploitation of fresh water, fertile soil, timber, marine life, and innumerable other resources across the globe— the Extraction Project will culminate in a constellation of nearly fifty overlapping exhibitions, performances, installations, site-specific work, land art, street art, publications, poetry readings, and cross-media events throughout 2021and beyond.
No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works is participating as a venue in this “ruckus” by presenting projects by several artists working to shine this light through photography, printmaking, publications, installation, video and painting throughout summer and fall, 2021. For the month of June into July, rescaled reproductions of Kyle Gallup’s original litho prints will be on display in the reading room’s storefront windows as an outdoor exhibit. Of her work, Kyle states:
In the 1990’s through the early 2000’s I worked on a series of paper lithographic transfer prints that were one-part documentary and one-part painterly expression of disappearing industrial sites I was seeing on trips through the Northeast and the Midwest. The series began as a way to capture big, built forms in the environment.
While working on this series, human backstories emerged. The day my husband and I photographed the Bethlehem Steel plant—the images I’d use in the printmaking process—we hadn’t realized that the plant had closed only weeks before. We were with our son, a toddler at the time. The laid-off employees and their families were out on their porches in town holding garage sales to generate cash. We spoke with them about their difficult situations—being out of jobs that they had held for years. There was much uncertainty and anxiety. Our son was given a stuffed animal that he happened to see in a box with a lot of other toys. The seller insisted on giving it to him and wouldn’t take any money from us.
I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, where my father was a civil engineer. I made prints of the Union Electric Power Plant on the Mississippi River, using his job site photos from a floodwall project along the river in the 1970s. The plant had powered the “Palace of Electricity” during the 1904 World’s Fair, which brought my great-grandmother’s family to St. Louis at the turn of the century. On weekends, my dad would take the whole family to the river where the job was in progress. The floodwall was constructed to protect the power plant as well as the downtown. The nature of the printmaking process creates a disintegration of the plate and because of this, the Union Electric Power Plant looks more like a large steamboat on the river. The plant was originally coal-fired, changing over to oil in 1972, then to natural gas in 1996. -K.G.
Kyle’s images were taken in the 1990’s as the basis for photo-litho prints which are reproduced and resized for this display. Kyle grew up a short drive away from the industrialized stretch of the Mississippi River in St. Louis, Missouri, and has lived near the Hudson River in New York City for decades. Both rivers have been used for industrial sewage, coal fired power plant and factory sites and the transport of industrial materials by barges. Some of these structures have been demolished, some remain. It’s a reminder of how nature is perceived by industrialists and capitalists who believed it’s for the taking by those most willing to put it into “highest and best use.” To them, unspoiled natural sites were seen as wastelands available for such purposes, which often meant development supposedly serving a “greater good” that made them wealthy while polluting our air, water and earth for decades.
Our country is filled with such sites and many ecological battles have been waged over them. Many have been the source of illness and premature death of residents in low-income areas and communities of color. Environmental racism is a well documented by-product of the extractive industries. One such fight happening right now in NY is the re-opening of the nearby Dansakammer power plant on the Hudson River for so-called “clean” energy. A decision will be made soon about the fate of this site.
Meanwhile, we watch as new “green” economies turn to mining metals such as lithium for e-car batteries out West. What new monstrosities and poisons will be unleashed in the race to improve our atmosphere and climate? When capitalism calls the shots about the direction of change, we can be sure that underlying their motives is greed. New zones are now under contract for mining tech metals, so we’re only trading one form of poison for another. It just depends on what they’re willing to sacrifice, what we’re willing to accept. There are no easy answers, yet it appears that the dominant voices of industrialists still control the “solutions” that are rapidly being determined in the new “green” economies. I have yet to hear a word from those in power about conservation, less consumption, re-use and repair, mass transit solutions and alternative technologies for batteries. It always falls to individuals to hold industry and the government to account as citizens and as consumers. This is on top of the already challenging work of day-to-day survival. We are becoming exhausted and this is what perpetuates the cycle.
In two or three decades, the middle years for today’s school-aged children, they will be contending with yet another extractive industry’s pollution for metals required for our tech and e-vehicles. Must poisoned earth and water be the tradeoff for cleaner air? In our rush to stop climate change are we overlooking the earth’s surfaces that we also depend on for life? We need holistic solutions to stopping the climate chaos causing 90-degree days in May in northern states and extreme drought across the planet. Ask those with water shortages how they feel about fracking or mining. We must not abide new sacrifice zones. They are not the answer. I am so grateful to all those who are working to find better solutions to heal our planet before it’s too late.
Kyle and I both have fathers who worked on such sites; hers as a civil engineer who always weighed in with his father, also a civil engineer, about what he saw as necessary regarding environmental concerns and often disagreed with the plans of the Army Corp of Engineers. My father was a machinist in a factory near the Mississippi River in St. Paul, MN who struggled with the dangers and pollution inherent in his work. Both he and his father, a railroad worker, died from industrially acquired cancers. Kyle and I are certain, that if our fathers and grandfathers were still with us in this time, they would be would be putting their talents to use on behalf of a sustainable planet. Meanwhile, their children and grandchildren are engaged in this work in the hope that our children and grandchildren will be able to abide in a time of healing and repair of our home on Earth. -PMR
Kyle Gallup is an American artist living in New York City. Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, instilled in her a love of the prairie and wide-open spaces. As a painter she traverses the line between known and invented landscapes. She has developed an intuitive approach to her work that combines observation, experience, and memory. She received a BFA from Tufts University and the Boston Museum School. In 2019 she was invited to be the first international resident at Colart and Winsor & Newton Paints in London, UK, where she experimented with the historic paint company’s new line of environmentally friendly Cadmium-free watercolors. She has shown her work in the US, Canada, and Britain. Her work is in private and corporate collections, including Robert Blackburn’s print collection in the Library of Congress.
Also available for viewing and purchase is the Extraction project’s Megazine exhibition guide that includes writing and artwork by participating artists and organizations serving as sites for this global art ruckus.
EXTRACTION: Art on the Edge of the Abyss is a multimedia, multi-venue, cross-border art intervention which seeks to provoke societal change by exposing and interrogating the negative social and environmental consequences of industrialized natural resource extraction. A global coalition of artists and creators committed to shining a light on all forms of extractive industry—from mining and drilling to the reckless plundering and exploitation of fresh water, fertile soil, timber, marine life, and innumerable other resources across the globe—the Extraction Project will culminate in a constellation of nearly fifty overlapping exhibitions, performances, installations, site-specific work, land art, street art, publications, poetry readings, and cross-media events throughout 2021 and beyond.
No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works is participating as a venue in this “ruckus” by presenting projects by several artists working to shine this light through photography, printmaking, publications, installation, video and painting. The first in this series of exhibits will be Walking the Watershed, a photo installation and book by the photographer and writer Ronnie Farley, who was featured here in November. Ronnie’s devotion to the issues of sustainability of life in a time of hyper-capitalism, colonialism and global climate chaos caused her to ponder the system that provides and delivers water to the millions of people living in NYC. Beginning in April, 2019, Ronnie collected water in a covered bucket with friends at the Schoharie reservoir in upstate New York and began a series of walks down to Manhattan, following the Catskill aqueduct route. The 150 mile trek took months. During this journey, Ronnie documented the route of the water and the people along the way in still and video formats, to be produced as a book and short film. Through the act of walking with the water, it is Ronnie’s hope to raise awareness of the distance New York’s water supply has to travel, and create a dialog about the rural/urban relationship regarding resources and economic stability.
Photographs from Walking the Watershed will be on display beginning in April on the second anniversary of the start of her walk, since which time, we entered the long period of the Covid-19 pandemic. This installation will take place in the windows once again when the weather has eased, for viewing from the sidewalk. There are limited copies of the Extraction: Art on the Edge of the AbyssMegazine catalog and exhibition guide, that can be acquired by request for pick-up during the exhibition period at no cost beginning in April. The book version of Walking the Watershed is slated for publication in Spring, 2021. Please follow this blog for updates.
Five Generations and Scouts are on view in the storefront windows.
The reading room remains closed until further notice, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Five generations of the Tso-Wilson family faced with relocation at Big Mountain, on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, 1986
Scouts, Chief Big Foot Memorial Ride, Centennial of the Massacre at Wounded Knee, Pine Ridge, South Dakota, 1990
Mae Tso, Diné, cleans wool from her sheep for rug weaving at her home in Big Mountain on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, 1986
Leota Lone Dog Lakota, Mohawk, Delaware, Washington Square Park, NYC
Mary and Carrie Dann, Western Shoshone, Crescent Valley, Nevada, 1992
Esther Yazzie before speaking about uranium mining on Navajo lands, at the Indigenous Uranium Conference at the United Nations, 1989
Winona LaDuke, Pura Fe Cresconi, Jennifer Kreisberg, and her son Wakinyan sing to Winona’s horse after her trek from Minnesota to Standing Rock, North Dakota during the pipeline protest, 2016
About the Portraits
The portraits on view are selections from Ronnie Farley’s book Women of the Native Struggle, 1993. This body of work began in 1985 through her activism and engagement with the Diné (as the Navajo call themselves) in an area of northern Arizona called Big Mountain, where thousands of Diné were being forced from their lands for a federal national energy policy that had been developed decades before. This land was determined to be a “National Sacrifice Area” by the U.S. Department of Energy in order to extract coal and uranium from the site. Spearheading many of the fights against these policies were women, including those who refused to give up their flocks of sheep to allow for the mining that was slated for their lands. Like the Earth, they would not move.
It was this resistance by the Diné women and many other women from a multitude of tribal communities across the country that moved Farley to make portraits of these leaders. Their devotion and stewardship of the land that permits these nature-based Indigenous peoples to survive became the central focus of this book, which is being updated with two decades of new material for a new edition titled Earth Keepers, for publication in Fall, 2021.
In this time of reckoning with racist injustice, it’s important to put into view the Indigenous women who have struggled against sexist, racist and genocidal policies for centuries. These women are the survivor-daughters of survivor-daughters. They are little-known and set upon with stereotypes, forced assimilation and the destructive pathologies of a people subjected to wars and governmental policies to remove them from their lands, remove them from their culture and remove their identity in order to “save them.” This is the very definition of genocide.
All American immigrants, regardless of national origin, race, or time of arrival, have either participated in, or benefited from the genocide of the original inhabitants of this country. Indigenous peoples who were here many millennia before European contact, who had a multitude of languages, cultures and life ways were overtaken by colonialism, a strictly capitalist enterprise of greed and racist attitudes that justified the exploitation and genocide of Indigenous people and the natural resources they depended upon for their survival. Slavery is often called the “Original Sin” of the United States, but the genocide and forced removal of Native peoples from their lands paved the way.
The current Federal government is still in conflict with many tribes over land and treaties. Many local and state governments still attempt to alter or rescind them. Hundreds of treaties have been broken without proper or sufficient reparations given for what was taken. There is still much work to do to address this horrific chapter in the founding of the United States. There is a need to recognize and rectify the damage done to a multiplicity of people across this nation and this must be a part of the reckoning of these times. To ignore it is to perpetuate it. Native Lives Matter, because the survival of all life hangs on the balance of Native Wisdom and the unbroken connection to the Mother of us all – Earth. –PMR & RF
“E is for Earth, A is for Animals, R is for Respect, T is for Trees, H is for Home—what the Earth is.” –Star Trudell, Cree, age 9
Joanie Dragavon with Star Trudell at the Big Mountain support house in Flagstaff, Arizona 1986
About the Artist
Ronnie Farley is an award-winning fine-art and editorial photographer whose published works include; Women of the Native Struggle: Portraits and Testimony of Native American Women (Crown), Cowgirls: Contemporary Portraits of the American West (Crown/ Thunder’s Mouth Press), Diary of a Pedestrian: A New York Photo Memoir (Third Eye Press), New York Water Towers (KMW studio) and Ghost Plane (Third Eye Press).
Farley’s work has been critically acclaimed by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Huffington Post. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, and is included in the collections of the Museum of the City of New York, The National Museum of the American Indian in New York City, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, The Nicolaysen Museum in Casper, Wyoming, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth Texas, and the Kultur Bodensee in Salem, Germany. Her images have appeared in Rolling Stone, USA Today, Sierra Magazine, Western Horseman and The Sunday Times of London. In addition to her own photography, Ronnie Farley’s career includes working for the Associated Press in New York City over a span of twenty years as a photographer, a photo librarian, and a national photo editor. Farley lives in Beacon. You can see her work at: www.ronniefarley.com
Top: Slippage 4a [tell me how to] Slippage 5c [we’re doing the best that we can]
Bottom: Slippage 7a [in isolation i found creation] Slippage 3b [we move to re]
Despite the phased reopening of businesses in New York, No.3 Reading Room & Photo Book Works will remain closed for the time being. But as it’s summer, with many folks out-and-about, Beacon’s Main Street is coming back to life at last, so I felt it was time to reactivate the reading room by installing the visual poetry of Edwin Torres in the storefront’s windows as 17×22″ archival pigment prints.
I’ve admired and followed Edwin’s work for many years and had scheduled an exhibit of his work for earlier in spring, but like many things, this had to be postponed. However, the storefront windows are a perfect place to present these dynamic poems that Edwin calls “Slippages” which are the visual corollaries to his spoken word poetry that employs sound and vocalizing as much as meaning and language. Edwin’s performative work as a poet from the Nuyorican diaspora, accompanied by his visual graphic work within the tradition of Concrete Poetry and Asemic Writing, situates Edwin in a rare and remarkable place. He excels in both forms, flowing from one to the other, cross-referencing the literal, the aural and the visual. These are not separate bodies of work, but a hybridity of forms in an ongoing dialogue that results in new possibilities for insight. Of his visual poetry, Edwin writes:
These pieces are about the dynamics of human connection, using the alphabet as a form for making new realms. I’m interested in our seventh sense; consciousness, connected to the etheric body, that subtle body hovering over the physical body—the slippage between realms as a form for language—the spaces between the immediate and the known, a negative/positive dynamic that sets root in language.
What happens to how we talk with each other, as we enter the world we inhabit—our perceived form? Can we look at the world we’ve made for ourselves and notice the slippage between the senses—our seeing-hearing-talking voice? Where, in there, can we discover our basic survival skills; how to be, how to learn, how we’re doing?
By stripping away imagery to its core reception, dynamic landscapes of space and volume are offered as totems of incomplete mobility, etheric possibility—no answers here, no stopping. In using the graphic shapes of the marks we grew up with, of gestures we’ve embodied, can the alphabet we know evoke new talking, in ways beyond the poem, beyond the visual? Or maybe we need to understand each other first, before something new can start?
Slippage 3g [i want you to read me]
Slippage 7b [in isolation i found creation]
Slippage 3e [tight blur]
Slippage 2b [the effort to remain ambiguous]
Slippage 6b [the purposeful invention of desire]
Slippage 3b [night blur]
Slippage 6c [the purposeful invention of desire]
Slippage 4d [shout shot]
All images are available for purchase as archival pigment prints. Please contact photobookworks@gmail for further information.
About the Artist:
Edwin Torres is the author of 9 books of poetry including, XoeteoX: the infinite word object (Wave Books), Ameriscopia (University of Arizona Press), The PoPedology of an Ambient Language (Atelos Books), and is editor of the inter-genre anthology, The Body In Language: An Anthology (Counterpath Press). Anthologies where his work appears include, Fractured Ecologies, Who Will Speak For America, American Poets In The 21st Century: Poetics Of Social Engagement, In/Filtration: A Hudson Valley Salt Line, Postmodern American Poetry Vol. 2, Kindergarde: Avant Garde Poems For Children, and Aloud: Voices From The Nuyorican Poets Café.
Edwin is a lingualisualist; rooted in sight and sound, and has performed his multi-disciplinary bodylingopoetics worldwide. Fellowships include, NYFA, PEN America, The Foundation for Contemporary Art, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and The DIA Arts Foundation. He has exhibited his visual text at Chicago’s Center For Book Arts, in an exhibition entitled “Poesis: A Visual Language,” and was part of The Drawing Center’s “Open Studios” residency in NYC, where he first developed his slippage forms.
He has created/destructed/emerged with a wide range of collaborators, including locally as Sowndhauz, an electro-lingo duo with Matt Harle on sownd. Edwin has always explored the boundaries of form and presentation, of his work, Eleni Sikelianos says, “There are experimental poets, Torres may be the experiment.”
This summer, Edwin is giving a virtual workshop through The Liminal Lab entitled, “Feel Recordings: Hearing The Voice Of The Body.”