FANTASY LIFE is a series that explores the fantasies that define America:
Manifest destiny, the romantic idea of the restless wanderer, the hopeful idea that failure is just a
step on the road to greatness, the notion that the pursuit of fame and fortune is also the pursuit
of happiness, the belief that to secure one’s identity, one must seek to stand apart from the
community. FANTASY LIFE is my attempt to portray the dreams of a nation – through baseball.
The common thread among the baseball players I followed over twelve years is that
they all had a shot at greatness. In the tintypes portion of the project, I concentrate on what it looks like to try to touch greatness. It is not victory lap after victory lap to be sure. (Baseball and tintypes came into the world only 7 years apart.)
Additionally, the tintypes gave me the space as an artist to reflect on their place within a complex of references that touches on everything from the mid-19th c. dawn of experimental photography (photographing the otherwise invisible; spirit photography and the ghosts in the trace; communication across the ethers, etc!) to more contemporary concerns about the status of the photographed images in the post-digital "rupture.” I made some very clean tintypes which are perfect in the way a digital image can be. However, I also intentionally added extra emulsion, fingerprints and scratches and used a variety of temperatures to get different colors. All of these effects are handmade and show the trace of the artist over the image itself.
The player in action is a form of choreography or haptic language, something important to my other projects as well. The tintypes take something very ephemeral, very bodily, very temporary and transgress that temporality, freezing these otherwise soon-forgotten movements of the body – possibly also freezing much pleasure and pain. This too connects to concerns with early photography and the capture of movements of dancers, runners, horses, athletes.