City Shields, Phase Four

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.

 © 2016 Louise Levergneux, transcribing addresses and intersections from the original file names of my photos in Bridge to a template in InDesign.

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, transcribing addresses and intersections from the original file names of my photos in Bridge to a template in InDesign.

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. 

 © 2016 Louise Levergneux

© 2016 Louise Levergneux

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!

 © Google Maps, according to my journal we should have been on 2nd Ave N, it was necessary to determine which cardinal direction was the proper one for the location of a manhole cover

© Google Maps, according to my journal we should have been on 2nd Ave N, it was necessary to determine which cardinal direction was the proper one for the location of a manhole cover

 © 2016 Louise Levergneux, detail of my journal with corrections indicated with red circles

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, detail of my journal with corrections indicated with red circles

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?

 © Google Maps, on September 6th, 2013 at 7:36am I was standing at the corner of E St Paul Ave and N Broadway in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

© Google Maps, on September 6th, 2013 at 7:36am I was standing at the corner of E St Paul Ave and N Broadway in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

I found the manhole cover as I browsed in street view in Google Maps. It's circled below in red. 

 © Google Maps

© Google Maps

 © Google Maps

© Google Maps

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.

 © Google Maps, the new manhole cover references a cleaner environment

© Google Maps, the new manhole cover references a cleaner environment

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.

 © 2016 Cathryn Miller

© 2016 Cathryn Miller

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.

 © 2005, Cathryn Miller, no skateboarding

© 2005, Cathryn Miller, no skateboarding

 © 2005, Cathryn Miller, no skateboarding

© 2005, Cathryn Miller, no skateboarding

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!!