A Short History of Decay is a documentation of 50 works involving rust and photography. Aquarius Records is very proud to be presenting Jim's work as we feel he is one of the most interesting and singular artists working in San Francisco. Trust me. I go to a lot of trendy art openings.
Simply put, I rust things. That process usually involves a solution of aluminum chloride, cupric sulfate, and rust in water, which altogether can act as a vibrant stain on porous materials, or a mild oxidizing agent on metals. Photography -- in particular, black and white prints on fiber paper -- is my current favorite medium to decay chemically, as the silver within the photograph also reacts with the solutions that I employ. However, my body of work has also included works on paper, large scale installations, encrusted sculptures, one of a kind books, and even deep droning soundtracks based upon the amplification of microphones under the duress of corrosion.
But far from making pure abstractions, I'm trying to tell a story with my art. Rust implores a forensic reading, in which something pure -- a latent image in photograph or an elusive reference point within the semiotic ether -- has been soiled. I purposefully compound that reading by emphasizing the similarities between rust and dried blood. The forensic aesthetic asks for the viewer's active participation, requiring them to sift through the visual information and construct a narrative of what happened, how it occurred, and why these things were done. While I don't ever want to force a specific reading of my work, I tend to organize all of the visual elements within ordered systems, recalling the taxonomic bracketing of scientific discovery. Thus, the controlled context of geometric forms offers a poetic balance with the vocabularies of decay.
Currently, I reside in San Francisco and have exhibited at Eyedrum (Atlanta), The Lab (San Francisco), The Fugitive Art Center (Nashville), Zeitgeist (Nashville), and Southern Exposure (San Francisco). I have recently completed working with Monique Jenkinson, as her art director for the upcoming dance performance Hideous Progeny at the prestigous ODC theater in San Francisco, furthermore I will be showing a major installation in San Jose in spring 2003. I am continuing in my collaboration with Loren Chasse as Coelacanth -- an audio/visual ensemble that may be in search of the drone supreme, but often gets distracted by the minutiae of sound itself. I have been active as the Director of Publicity for 23five, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and increased awareness of sound arts within the public arena. Outside of my activities within the arts, I am a very active cultural critic with writings published in The Wire, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, The Sound Projector, and Chunklet. Finally, I spend my days happily toiling at Aquarius Records -- the best record store, ever.