39+ What Comes Around Goes Around

October 1 – 30, 2010

Days into years, Day 39



an exhibition by Mia Semingson
39+ presents 366 images from a year-long photographic project.

“I turned thirty-nine on May 7, 2009 and I documented my 40th year of life by photographing every day. I used a “point-and-shoot” style digital camera to collect a series of snapshots to visually document and communicate the progression of this year of my life. As part of my project each day’s image references the previous day, either visually or conceptually. The project ended on my 40th birthday, May 7, 2010. The entire project can be viewed here.

Prior to my 39th birthday I had confronted myself many times with the concept of living in the present moment instead of looking to the past or the future as the present moment ticked by. I have since decided to change my thought process, to slow time down with the aid of a digital camera, and become sensitive to the present moment by literally seeing and photographing what is in front of me.

This old house, Day 145

The idea of the snapshot aesthetic is often considered to be amateurish or imperfect since snapshots tend to be shot quickly or spontaneously, formally lacking artistic or journalistic intent. Eastman Kodak first introduced the concept of the snapshot in the 1900’s by putting the Brownie Box Camera into the hands of common people. Kodak marketed the camera by encouraging users to capture moments in time without being overly concerned with producing perfect imagery. “You press the button and we do the rest” is their familiar slogan.

The new digital snapshot camera continues this democratic idea of easy photography for the average consumer. According to a recent study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), 77% of American households now own at least one digital camera.

Losing, Day 36

The other aspect of this project that I am exploring is the idea of the “third effect.” A visual dialog occurs when one photograph is visually paired with another. Although the meanings of the individual images are preserved, a third meaning that is highly subjective shifting and enigmatic is produced. It can be compared to the relationship between mise-en-scene and montage in film. Gestalt psychologists have labeled this cognitive experience to seeing isolated parts connected to a larger whole as “closure.” I am pushing this idea by exploring what happens when the viewer is confronted with 366 “paired” images. I see this visual connection as a metaphor for life itself- a build-up of experiences over the course of a year represented by the relationship of the images I have chosen each day”.


Not a girl, Day 21common object, common site, Day 6

The resulting series of images, particularly when presented in book form as they are in this installation, successfully walk the line between presenting Semingson’s personal vision and images that have universal appeal with their evocation of sensations both comfortable and familiar. Also on display is a selection of framed digital inkjet prints.

Mia Semingson works in a variety of media including photography, video, performance, sculpture, and artists’ books. She received her MFA in photography and electronic media from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She was an instructor in the department for 11 years. Currently she is the new owner of Two Hands Paperie in Boulder, Colorado. Her work has been exhibited throughout the US and in Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, and France.

One Unit Per Increment

May 20 – June 19, 2010

This exhibition features works created by artists in a regular unit (hourly/weekly/monthly) as part of an ongoing practice – once a day or once a week or once a minute for a chunk of time or continuing chunks of time.

Recording our thoughts and observations is an ongoing human activity. For visual artists, the impulse to create a tangible result of these observations is a widespread practice. The results of several such projects make for a lively and engaging display at Abecedarian Gallery.

Many of the projects in this exhibition honor and celebrate ritual and process within various set parameters.

Some, such as Denver’s Homare Ikeda

Untitled have committed to an ongoing studio practice that spans many years. Ikeda begins each day in the early morning with less than 30 minutes spent in creating 7, 9 or 11 gestural sumi ink drawings. For Ikeda the exercise gives him a chance to begin hiw work without critical thought, to simply pick up the tools, to start making marks.

parallel tea texts: january
Heidi Zednik, of Asheville, North Carolina, speaks of a continuing commitment

to simply have some sort of record of the days, however small the observation’

. On exhibit are selections from two of her 2010 projects. Walnut ink drawings on found paper, starting with a stack of vintage computer-punch-cards and a second project, typed text on stained tea bags. The text reflects some thought(s) of the day. Each months’ teabags are tied with string, becoming a single “standing month” or object.

January Untitled 3Another Asheville artist, Tony Bradley, has dedicated years to the practice of daily drawings and virtually all his two-dimensional work is an outgrowth of this practice. He has created portfolios of his mixed media on paper works into a series of Monthly Reports.

Another ongoing project is that of Genie Shenk, a California artist, who has been creating visual documents of her dreams since 1982, preserved and presented in a book for each year. Two of her dream books are included in this exhibit.

Dreams 2007

Also honoring specific experiences are the daily drawings of Elizabeth (Tilly) Strauss whose drawings, spanning over 100 days, document the relationship between the artist and a dying friend.Curtains for Jen

Other of the projects were designed with very specific intent – New South Wales artist Sara Bowen states she started The Daily Drawing project

‘to try and recapture my enthusiasm for drawing. As a child I always carried pencil and paper and didn’t care what I drew; I drew anything, anywhere. It dawned upon me that I could start again . . . I thoroughly enjoyed the experience’

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Daily Drawing B

Book artist Alicia Bailey wished to quickly process the early phases of a series of ideas. Her Book a Week series forced her to create books quickly and get ideas either out of her system or recognize their worth as more fully developed projects.

Alicia Bailey - Book a Week project

100 Days - Installation ViewTatiana Ginsberg (Santa Barbara, California) made a cup out of handmade paper every day for 100 days, drinking her daily tea from it, letting the tea soak and stain the paper bowl. Ginsberg has studied in Japan and is familiar with the way Japanese tea ceremony ritualizes an aspect of everyday life. Thinking about the pauses in the day provided by cups of tea or coffee, she made cups that reacted to and recorded the specific act of drinking. Ginsberg is also exhibiting Shadow Drawings, daily works drawn from the shadows cast by insect ravaged leaves.

Photography has been a mainstay in the realm of personal recording/documentation. The photographers included in the exhibit have each approached the notion of connecting with the personal or physical landscape.

July 25 ,2004Denver artist Anna Newell-Jones spent one year working on Daily: A Self-Portrait a Day For a Year, motivated by what she says was a ‘desperate desire to see who I really am.’ The photos are funny, sad and everything in between, but are always unflinching.

What Comes AroundIn a year long project, beginning on her 39th birthday, Lafayette, Colorado artist Mia Semingson investigates the relationship of one day’s image to the next.

Views from the Interior: the First Seven-Year Cycle

Connecticut artist Janet Pritchard’s Views from the Interior: The First Seven-Year Cycle records her multi-year connection a personal landscape by acting as recording witness to it.

Unfolding Each Day - openAlso documenting experience is Denver artist Sammy Lee, whose work Unfolding Each Day is a photographic journal of the year 2005, handsomely housed in a multi-faceted box that gives evidence of her architectural training.

Another artist using photography as the basis for a daily project, Chicago’s Stacy Sears photographed the sky each day, using the photographs as a starting point for a daily painting practice.One Month

And lastly, Nikki Thompson, Katerine Case and Sara McManus used the format of daily postcard mailing as a tribute to their friendship. They sent each other postcards once a month for a year, then each created an artists’ book from the postcards.OUPI_all3_39post_a