VIRTUAL OPEN STUDIOS WINTER 2021: Art 154C After Archives: Photographers & Research
Instructor - Karolina Karlic
Photography • Design • Collage • Digital Art • New Media
My work encompasses the mediums of photography, collage, design, digital art, illustration, and new media as well as writings about art and culture. Centered on a distinctive blend of feminist theory, social critique, and tongue-in-cheek humor, my concerns traverse the fashioning of self-identity for women in relation to hegemonic ideals featured in art, politics, history, culture, and popular media.
With an eye to women's experiences in the public sphere and a critical voice toward power relations and popular culture, my art and discourse address the effect of the female subject within patriarchy, traditional gender roles, consumerism, and in movies, TV, magazines, and social media obsessed with youth and status. Appropriating elements of pop culture in my work such as advertising, fashion, and technology, I produce an exploration of stereotypes that highlight the dissociation between mass conformity and the socio-psychological neoliberal principles of individualism.
Farms, Farmers, and the Field
Farms, Farmers, and the Field is a photography project I created to centralize the people who bring food, flowers, and other goods from the field to the markets and into our homes. I started this project journey by driving up Highway One. I was disappointed at first that I wasn’t getting the images and meaningful conversations I expected to get. I have fortunately made a very strong relationship with the owners of the Sunrise Nursery Farm in Watsonville. The first time I visited the farm, the owner's wife Jennifer and I went on a drive. It felt as if I was receiving a one on one personal tour on the history of Watsonville.
I have made it a priority to create a connection with the farmers and owners of the farm. When conducting the interviews, I wanted to show them gratitude. I printed out previous photographs I took of the farmers in the fall, made them homemade vegan banana muffins and put in the effort to make this a collaborative project. This is a year-long series where the project lives on a website, which includes a gallery portfolio section of the field and farmers, portraits with biographies, and a blog post section.
This project has been a continuation from October and is now focused on using the archive to add research and historical findings to create a richer and more well rounded project. With my research, I have found oral histories on women farmers in Watsonville, old diaries, and a whole archive labeled “Shades of Watsonville,” which is essentially a time capsule of images of Watsonville family events and other photographs that Watsonville locals gathered to create a historical archive. Beyond this, I have found many other exciting findings and even got the chance to go to an archive museum in person. This is where I looked at family farms and their histories, which included Martinelli's family farm history and the famous Porter Family Archive. They had an extensive selection of oral histories, photographs, writings, and more on these families and many other well-known ones. I was simply in awe of their collection. It was massive, and filled with everything you could imagine and want to know about Watsonville. Their collections ranged from genealogy, to a law and governing section, to a strictly farming selection of archival data that contained history dating back to the 1800s.
In order to make this project cohesive, I am presenting my final product of my next “installment” For “Farms Farmers and the Field” with the catalogue format for our class. This is a way to look through the data I found, mixed with the new images and older interviews I have taken to complete a well developed archival collection of my own. This format will also make it fun to look through content as an archival documentary series that allows us to have insight through a photographic viewpoint on the farmers themselves as well as to educate people on Watsonville history in order to feel connected to the content. Overall, the concept of my project is to shine a light on these individuals, the environment of the farm and fields, and provide my audience with an artist’s perspective on agriculture and the farmers themselves.
“Daniel & Felipe”
Felipe is 32 years old. He has been working since he was 10 years old, so that is now 22 years of working so far. He lives in Watsonville with his brothers so there is no need for commuting. In his free time, he likes to play basketball and listen to music from Mexico (no preference for artists or style). Felipe's favorite types of food are pizza and carne asada. Lastly, on the field, he prefers the summer season and working with the flowers.
Daniel is 29 years old and has been working for awhile now. He lives in Watsonville with his cousins. His favorite food is carne asada and second favorite is a good sandwich. Daniel’s favorite season is summer and favorite thing to do on the field is work with the flowers. He likes to play football and watch basketball teams from Mexico. Lastly he enjoys listening to music a little of everything, music from Mexico.
“Gizdich Farm and Field”