Since series originators Miss Grace and Kellee are taking a short break from the Diptych Project, Nicole and I are catching up on diptych themes we missed during our sabbatical. First, glee:
Next up, familiar:
While I wasn’t aiming to publish this photo in conjunction with the Tour de France, it’s a happy coincidence. For me, being in the saddle of a bicycle is a very comfortable and familiar place. My father is a lifelong cyclist and raised me to ride.
Nicole, a Mojave desert native, wrote about her image that, “the reason I was looking for a Joshua Tree today at the [Berkeley] botanical gardens was that I wanted to take a photo of one for a familiar themed diptych. This was the closest thing I could find. I think there are actually a few plants that look like this around in my neck of the Mojave, though. So it is familiar in that way where something is really close to the thing you’re thinking of, but not the actual thing.”
It’s there, through the fire. But it was hard to compete with Nicole’s this week, which looks like so many different things at once but is in fact her duster.
I’ve taken a sabbatical from the diptych series for a little while, for a variety of reasons, but I’m going to try and get back in the swing of things. First off, my partner Nicole submitted photos worth checking out for some of the weeks I skipped (glee and urgent). And here is this week’s offering, “summer”:
Miss Grace and Kellee’s summer idylls are posted here. Next week we will turn to “dust”.
Sometimes, what’s interesting about diptych is how far apart our interpretations of a given word might be; this time, what’s interesting is just how close they are. Nicole and I are both thinking citrus, it seems. Coming soon are “urgent” and then “glee” next. Go here to see Miss Grace and Kellee’s versions of “Abundant” and “Urgent”.
I guess both Nicole and I thought of flowers for springtime. I believe this is the most resemblance our diptych photos have had to each other, and even here I went for a field and she went in close. Miss Grace and Kellee’s version can be seen here. Next week will be “abundant”.
This week’s diptych theme is “temporary”. I have no hand in selecting the themes; that’s up to Grace and Kellee. But this week that term is especially relevant to me, as I am in the final days of my temporary position at the California Academy of Sciences. While I only became a paid employee in December, I first came to the Academy back in June of 2009 as an intern and have been heading in to the gleaming green building in Golden Gate Park continuously ever since. So next Friday, my last day at the Academy, marks the end to a significant period of my professional life.
It’s a bittersweet departure because of the fun I’ve had, the skills I’ve learned, and the connections I’ve made. First, credit for how enjoyable it’s been should be given to the people I work with: Christina, who for my months as an intern was my roommate in the Corsi Digital Lab, and then, when she went on maternity leave, the reason I had a professional opportunity; Becky, who is funny, lively, takes long runs in the rain and taught me a lot about life sciences librarianship (taxonomy!); and most of all, my supervisor, Danielle, who has patiently taught me how to handle the Academy’s historic materials, how to curate an informative archival display, and all sorts of digital asset management details they never get to in library school. I appreciate the patience they’ve shown in teaching me the rigging of the good schooner Academy.
Working in the Academy’s archives is quite an adventure. These aren’t dry and dusty collections; I learned about Alvin Seale, a headstrong turn-of-the-century scientist and adventurer who scoured the South Pacific for feather cloaks and cannibals; the great matriarch of botany Alice Eastwood and how she rescued specimens in the midst of the 1906 disaster; and scientific explorers like Rollo Beck and Templeton Crocker and their high-seas voyages to the Galapagos and beyond. I spent weeks delving into our materials on the arctic north and became an accidental expert on pelagic sealing, the Pribilof Islands, and the strange things that happen in the Bering Sea.
But all this was temporary, and I’ll be moving on. Fortunately, the skills I’ve learned are not.
My image in this week’s “temporary” diptych is the iconic orange band that’s been around my neck since last summer, the one that I’ll soon be giving up.
Since I’ll be heading to the CARL conference pretty soon — a great place to meet interesting library professionals and make new contacts — I thought it was a good time to get my own set of business cards. In the hopes that I’ll hand a few out, and a few of the recipients might find there way to this website, I thought I’d explain the images on the back of each card.
I used a printing service called Moo to make my cards, and one of the options they offer is to print a photograph on the reverse side (fantastic print quality, by the way — I’m very happy with the results).
I chose six different images, all taken by me.
The second image, upper right, is a little more personal to my family. In the late 1920s and early ’30s my grandfather was a marionetteer, and the image is a detail from the letterhead of his company, the Domino Marionettes. The surviving collection of his handcrafted wooden puppets — a mix of billy goats, characters from Greek myths, and Punch and Judy handpuppets — is one of our most treasured family possessions.
The third and fourth photos were both taken in the printing press room of UC-Berkeley’s Bancroft Library. I find the iconography of print — both in its historical context and the newer, digital iterations — fascinating, so I took a few photos during a Lissten-sponsored tour and chose to use these two on my cards. One is the stack of type trays, the other is a page laid out ready for printing.
The fifth photo, on the lower left, is the first image I used in the ongoing Diptych project. It’s actually a photograph of the penguin tank at my erstwhile place of employment, the California Academy of Sciences. Obviously, there are no penguins in the photograph — it’s just an abstract image meant to capture the concept of “water”. The sixth photo, on the lower right, is a spinning sand table at San Francisco’s Exploratorium (I recommend going to their webpage and pressing the button. The one they tell you not to press).
Full size images — plus an uncropped version of my grandfather’s letterhead — are available on flickr.
Today’s diptych is coming out late night because it’s LOUD. Well, actually, because we had Nicole and Carolyn over for dinner (we talked about CARL and Controlled Vocabularies and Georgian wine. It was exciting). But still, here you go – LOUD.
If you’re wondering, the record in the picture is Spencer Krug’s experimental Moonface EP. Download the digital version (for free! legally!) and let it invade your dreams. Oh, and Miss Grace’s “Loud” is just about the loudest photograph in the history of loud photographs. Listen up over here.
Today we’re slamming the door in your face. Our diptych subject is “closed”. Next week, though? We’ll get “loud”. Don’t forget to check out Miss Grace’s version here, and visit my partner-in-photography Nicole’s site too. The explanation of this project, in case you’re new to the party, is archived here.