Sometime during the week I lost a day. Today is Sunday, and I still have not finished the tasks at hand for City Shields.
I’m entering my detail work phase before printing. I find it necessary to pay attention to details—titles and text—to avoid mistakes. Je dois mettre les points sur les I et les barres sur les t, (I’m required to dot my i’s and cross my t’s).
Since I’m doing the volumes as an assembly line, it's a long process. Did I say boring, noooooo! Not at all, my obsessive-compulsive disorder is in full force and I don’t mind repetitive tasks. According to my key job list, I’m at phase 4, this is where I verify every individual elements of my templates.
Details, details... I felt I needed to clear my mind to better focus. I took two days to clean my studio or should I say purge it of unwanted documentation—paper, paper... Who needs to continue carrying that stuff around! Last year I decided going digital was best, but the job never got finished with the move and other artists’ books in progress.
By scanning and copying the original paperwork to DVD. I created a stack of paper, this stack will be very useful for glueing books and boxes. Binders know what I mean.
I took an hour to review my inventory of Aspen, Inkpress and Generations G-Chrome papers for the completion of two copies of 18 volumes, maybe more. The list grows as I work! A copy for me which will be part of the installation. The second copy is for the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives / Bibliothèque et Archives du Musée des beaux-arts du Canada. Peter Trepanier my contact, an avid collector of City Shields will be purchasing a copy of these volumes for the library. I will need to communicate with the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montréal, Québec, in case they want to keep their collection of City Shields complete.
I resume my detail work... To assure myself that the metadata transcribed is correct, I take the time to check the addresses and intersections from my journal in Google Maps. Street signs don't always indicate the cardinal directions, I love details!
This task brings me back to the location in question. The city, the heat of the day, the rain, an elaborate design, a city named manhole cover, the surprise, the hooray! moment even the make my day moment...
After googling an intersection, I had to check for the location of an exact manhole cover I had photographed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The address information in my journal was incomplete, yet again, those cardinal directions! I needed to find the exact location of this manhole cover. Was it a North or South street, East or West avenue?
I found the manhole cover as I browsed in street view in Google Maps. It's circled below in red.
As I navigated my mouse around and around the intersection in Google Maps, I noticed a new manhole cover. How could I have missed this cover while standing at the corner of N Broadway and E St Paul Ave? I searched on the internet till I found the manhole cover designed by Melanie Ariens, an environmental artist in 2015.
Another visit to Milwaukee is in order!
I spent last Wednesday afternoon driving around Nampa, Idaho, eager to find an exciting manhole cover. I found a couple with the name of the city. That’s good, but I didn’t go wahoo!
While I continue my hunt, I receive manhole cover photos from different people interested in my project. Cathryn Miller sent these manhole covers taken in White Rock, BC.
Cathryn made use of the manhole covers in her book no skateboarding. This artists’ book is a book, a puzzle, a box, a photographic essay regarding surfaces. Text takes second place to visual images in no skateboarding as with City Shields. The visual takes precedent in the context of both artists’ books.
Many people are interested in manhole covers and lots of articles have been written on these items. My searches bring me to the conclusion that the manhole cover has made a name for itself by getting cities and artists working together.
I think I’m procrastinating the printing phase! Phase 5. I have to get past the impatience and get it done! Make it so number one!!