Magrit matrix

Magrit matrix. Copyright © 2001 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.
["Magrit," from the original Arabic name "Mayrit" for Madrid]

SPIR: Conceptual Photography

Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán

 

Wish you were here
 Wish you were here.
Copyright © 2002 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.
 
Yes, it is true, as some of you know already. SPIR, the alchemical egg,
has been split asunder. Another sign of the times?
SPIR (1991-2003) is what Jill & María were (1990-2003);
that is, SPIR is neither Jill nor María, but the two together.
Visit María's new website as Camera Query at: http://www.cameraquery.com.
 
   As the queer feminist partnership SPIR: Conceptual Photography, we collaborated with each other and friends and colleagues from 1991 to 2003 to produce various kinds of photo-text. These ranged from photo sequences that look like story boards or film stills with text running underneath them on gallery walls to photo-essays that appeared in several journals (Art Journal, Iris) to postcards and digitally and hand-manipulated polaroids. From 1994 onward we also presented our work in the form of slide-projector talks that involved simultaneous reading or "lecturing" along with an ongoing rotating slide-carrousel exhibit of images to create experimental combinations of words and images. We explored many related issues in our photo-text work: identity in terms of the impersonation of social roles and cultural icons and the transformation of those roles; the relationship between words and visual images and their effect on us as viewers and "projectors" of images; the uses of photography to explore the linkage between fantasy and politics; how people employ photographs and story-telling to apprehend time and make the disappearing present personally and historically meaningful; and the material and philosophical implications of different kinds of photographic media and practices. Our photo-text work was and is an extension of our work as scholars in the fields of visual culture & art history (Jill) as well as literature & photography (María).
   Why "conceptual photography"? This may sound abstract and disorienting. Disorientation may be confusing, but it is also the beginning of questioning. And questioning is the stuff of thought as thinking. If concepts are the images of thought, as Gilles Deleuze spent his life elaborating, images, whether verbal or visual or both, lie at the very center, the inner sanctum, of the bone of thought, its life-giving marrow.
Soul of Mannequin
Soul of Mannequin Under Capitalism.Copyright © 1999 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR:  Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Psychic enslavement:
the colonization of the unconscious
by a social construction
presented as a condition of "nature," human or otherwise.

ScoundrelThe Vanishing Emergent: this is not mere analogy, alchemy of excrement into gold-less guilt, nor is it one more version of Darwin's "natural" evolution of forms, life-forms included, in a C[lonely] world of manufactured substitutions and replacements seemingly ad infinitum. Technomancy of necromancy, empire of the marvelous, but not necessarily of the liberationist sort. Simulation is our recompense, our workers' compensation for a proliferating case of Phantom Limb, the missing body part, the mourned hand or leg buried in the Sandman's sand box. But more likely it's an internal organ (Oh, I'm missing you!) snipped out by adroit android hands while we, you, me, s/he slept dreamless under technoanaesthesia. When you finally awaken, you'll stumble groggy-eyed to the mirror in anamorphic disbelief, shellshock, passionless wonder, muttering, "What happened? What happened? What happened to me?" Then you'll open the medicine cabinet behind the mirror, the cabinet of curiosities designed and prescribed to keep you (el curioso impertinente) from asking too many questions or doing anything about them. Directions: stay exterminatingly absorbed with your mass-produced projections of self-preservation at the expense of others and mind your "own business" in this upside-down world of incorporated megalopoly (while Peeping Techno-Tom pries into your affairs uploading Info on deliciously downloaded applets). Meanwhile, your vision is not only doubled, but compounded into a million collared feelings of futility by the multiplying spectacles perched at the end of your nose, substitute corneas compliments of ArtfulScience, Inc. Some gadget composed of cut crystals grown in space. Some gadget acquired from a mail order catalogue advertised on the cathode-ray commander of abducted minds.

Text of "Vanishing Emergent" copyrighted © 1999 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.
Image "Scoundrel Lines" copyrighted © 2001 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.
 

Virtual Presence
Virtual Presence from Prism Pictures. March 23, 2003.
Copyright © 2003 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán,
SPIR: Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.



If you are interested to do any of the following:
  • Display work by SPIR in your gallery or art space
  • Write an article on SPIR's collaborative photo-text projects
  • Find out more about SPIR's photo-text work
  • Purchase SPIR prints or postcards (5% from sales of postcards donated to HIV/AIDS organization)
  • Please contact us at: mdeguzman@earthlink.net or at jhcasid@wisc.edu

    Or write to us at María DeGuzmán, P.O. Box 989, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, U.S.A. or at Jill Casid, Dept. of Art History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Elvehjem Building 240, 800 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53703.
     

    Real Wild DollyValentinoThe Death of Marat

    Image on the left: Real Wild Dolly: "Oh, Darling!,"apocryphal image from Tango of the Dolls in the Deep.Copyright © 1993
    by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.

    Image in the middle: Valentino: homo americanus #3, frame 2. With the collaboration of Jeff Richter. Copyright © 1992 by
    Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.

    Image on the right: The Death of Marat #2. With the collaboration of Joseph O'Donnell. Copyright © 1992 by
    Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.

    Si quieres saber algo más de SPIR: Fotografía Conceptual, envianos un correo electronico o escribenos
    una carta en ingles o español o en Spanglish. Nos da igual.



    VALERIE (S)/Valéry = Valéry/VALERIE (S):

    In this place of enforced blandness, mediocrity, and brutality for the sake of the "money-work system,"(1) Madame la Te(s)te descends the staircase knowing that to translate her potentialities into actions means to submit them to the contempt of this world. And (s)he ought to know for (s)he is she, descending the staircase, this time for herself and in time to meet her match, aware of the world and of what "man" and his "wo-man" are made. This time, undeceived, undeceiver.

    But even this clarifying disillusionment is a form of enchantment. For at the end of the realization of her entrapment in a world of civilized barbarity lies the gleaming promise of liberation beckoning her on and on down into the night, the night that for all its bitter coldness and graveyard miasmic mists chilling the very marrow in the bones, is tender in relation to what is yet to come ... But, hey, who ever listened to Cassandra (or all those enslaved maidens sacrificed in the wake of her sacrifice)? And you know how history repeats itself, spiraling like the planet itself around a nuclear-reactor sun burning itself up while boys play with bombs and rockets and guns and slogans about genius, culture, and art and girls cheer (out of fear, and if they don't, they're supposed to) and everyday we step closer to Not-being, not much the wiser.

    http://www.peace-action.org
    1. Valerie Solanas, SCUM Manifesto(1967)
     
     

    [Text and images] Copyright © 2001 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.

     
    Pin-up gilding the clumsy pin
    bowling down outta B-29
    hey, hey, hey
    ya gotta beware
    those pin & ball games
    pinball wizard for pinheads
    'cause within them lies
    that fire wall aim
    blasting a target (that's folks)
    into shades, the lucky strikes you bet,
    'cause the others get to burn
    the living-dead butt existence
    of the maimed for life.
    I wish I could sing
    a new song, like the psalm says--
    balm, not naplam.
    But we ain't learnt nothin,'
    nothin' yet.

    --Found poem for anonymous poet. Subway wall (where else?)



    Faustus lights the lights and Mephistophelia steals the fire...
    Done with the collaboration of Patricia Juliana Smith.
    Copyright © 2001 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán,
    SPIR: Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.


    Schubert (Seraph Peter) is Melancholy Today
    Copyright © 2001 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán
    SPIR: Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.

    Quoting Walter Benjamin, Eduardo Cadava remarks in his book Words of Light: Theses on the Photography of History,"[t]he forgetting of the photograph's ghostly or spectral character, of its relation to a death that survives itself, corresponds to what Benjamin refers to as 'the decline of  photography'" (13). Cadava goes on to point out that this process of attempting to banish the spectral or ghostly quality of the photographic image has been occurring for a long time. In fact, one might say this desire to abolish or should we say "exorcise" the spectral has been a driving force behind the technical refinement of cameras and film, a refinement governed largely by a "mimetic ideology of realism" (14). Digital cameras with their promise of "digital gain-up" on darkness could be seen as the latest advancement in the campaign to abolish the spectral and its ineluctable companion, the dark and the indistinct. But, we are not so sure that such a conquest is desirable or even that the digital must be used to these ends. Perhaps the dark is light enough.

    The light shines in the darkness... in the dead of the night...


    The Vampire's Fondest Memory

    More SPECTRAL PHOTOGRAPHY

    SUB ROSA

    Click on Lightbulb for Lost Week at the Grand Hotel
     

    Lost Week
    Lost Week at the Grand Hotel,#7. Copyright © 2000 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.




    Oscaria/Oscar Apocryphal image or out-take from our series Oscaria/Oscar on Oscar Wilde and his niece Dolly Wilde (1895-1941) who dressed like her uncle and proclaimed herself more Oscar-like than Oscar was like himself. Camille Norton played Oscar. Jane Picard (the face peering out of the mirror at the viewers) played Dolly or Oscaria. But, of course, since historically speaking Dolly played Oscar as well as herself, we are suggesting that playing Oscar as women is to conjure the ghost of Dolly Wilde. Here's to Dolly and, in our version of her, to both modernist and postmodernist relations of women to a transgendered aestheticism where the original is a copy in ways that defy the hierarchical binary of "man" first and "wo-man" second. Done with the collaboration of Camille Norton and Jane Picard. Copyright © 1994 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography. This series has been shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Massachusetts; Dudley House, Lehman Hall, Harvard University; Watershed Media Centre, Bristol England; Pulse Art Gallery, New York City; and at CEPA Gallery in Buffalo, New York as well as in slide-show talks given at numerous academic institutions.

    For further information on other Wildean ventures, please visit D. C. Rose's site http://www.oscholars.com or write to
    oscholars@gmail.com.
     

    For external links to more info about SPIR: Conceptual Photography:

    http://www.indyweek.com/durham/2002-09-25/ae2.html
    http://www.ucl.ac.uk./slade/schta/

    http://www.southbank-university.ac.uk/~stafflag/photography.html
     
    Ophelia #8
    Image: Detail from Ophelia! O Filia! O Phyla! O Philia!,
    #8. With the collaboration of Carrie Alyea. Copyright © 1993
    by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography,
    All Rights Reserved.


    Ulyssee and Orphea in Search of Present Time ..., #3. Copyright © 1995 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán. SPIR: Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.

    UlysseeFor external links to other resources:
     

    GRRRL Bands:
    http://www.thebutchies.com/

    Feminist and Other Activist Art:
    http://web.ukonline.co.uk/n.paradoxa/index.htm
    http://www.warriorgirl.com
    http://www.agitart.org
    http://www.unc.edu/~eoslavic
    http://www.artistswithaids.org/artery
    http://www.dykeactionmachine.com
    http://www.inform.umd.edu/FemStud

    Women in Higher Education:
    http://www.aauw.org

    Queer Visual and Literary Arts:
    http://www.queerculturalcenter.org
    http://www.queerculturalcenter.org/Pages/Chinn/ChinIndex.html
    http://www.queer-arts.org
    http://www.planetout.com/pno/news/history/archive/queer60s.html
    http://www.southbank-university.ac.uk/~stafflag/library.html
    http://www.tremblingbeforeg-d.com
    http://www.dareonline.org/themes/translations/shonibare.html
    http://www.crisperanto.org/books/Bibliography.html
    http://www.jewellegomez.com

    Other Arts:
    http://www.aikaneKonaCoffee.com

    Queer Theory:
    http://www.dredking.com/clippings/clippings.htm
    http://www.genders.org/g29/g29_halberstam.html
    http://www.colorado.edu/English/ENGL2012Klages/queertheory.html

    LGBTQ Advocacy & Networking Info:
    http://gayellowpages.com
    http://www.southernvoice.com
    http://www.glbtq.com
    http://www.lambdalegal.org
    http;//www.NCLRights.org
    http://www.nlgja.org
    http://www.astraea.org
    http://www.sageusa.org
    http://www.glsen.org (in particular visit their BookLink Resource)
    http://www.planetout.com
    http://www.hglc.org
    http://lgbt.studentaffairs.duke.edu
    http://www.tcworks.org
    http://www.ncpride.org
    http://www.equalitync.org
    http://www.pflag.org
    http://www.atmp.org
    http://www.hrc.org
    http://www.ngltf.org
    http://www.glaad.org
    http://www.victoryfund.org
    http://edweb.sdsu.edu/people/CMathison/truths/gay_les.html
    http://www.equalityproject.org
    http://www.pridefoundation.org
    http://www.q-notes.com
    http://www.homestead.com/gaytriadnc

    LGBTQ Archives and Resource Centers:
    http://www.southbank-university.ac.uk/~stafflag/photography.html
    http://www.umass.edu/stonewall
    http://www-lib.usc.edu/~retter
    http://www-lib.usc.edu/~retter/latpnotables.html
    http://www-lib.usc.edu/~retter/loc.html
    http://www.datalounge.net/network/pages/lha/about/main.htm
    http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/women/lib.html
    http://www.frameline.org

    Latina/o:
    http://english.unc.edu/latina-o/index.html
    http://english.unc.edu/latina-o/speakers.html
    http://english.unc.edu/latina-o/UNCLatResources.html
    http://www.unc.edu/depts/english/latina-o/index.html
    http://www.quelaco.org/
    http://www.homovisiones.org
    http://www.allgo.org
    http://www.llego.org
    http://latino.sscnet.ucla.edu/
    http://latino.sscnet.ucla.edu/women/latinawebs.html
    http://www.almalopez.net
    http://www.chicanas.com
    http://www.pochanostra.com
    http://www.columbia.edu/cu/qoc
    http://www.chilipie.com
    http://www.afrocubaweb.com

    AsiaLat/Latinasia:
    http://www.filipinoweb.com

    Media, Gender, and Identity Studies & Theory:
    http://www.theory.org.uk/
    http://www.newmediastudies.com/art/polaroid.htm
    http://www.genders.org/g32/g32_jagose.txt
    http://www.obn.org/cfundef/condition.html
    http://www.spinifexpress.com.au/cf/cfcontent.htm
    http://www.let.uu.nl/womens_studies/rosi/cyberfem.htm
    http://www.constantvzw.com/cyberf/cf01.html
    http://www.vifu.de/students/gendering/links/

    Alternative Media Sources:
    http://www.alternet.org
    http://www.openDemocracy.net
    http://www.mediachannel.org
    http://www.zmag.org/weluser.htm
    http://www.zenzibar.com
    http://www.rhizome.org/fresh
    http://www.indymedia.org
    http://www.igc.org
    http://www.fair.org
    http://www.thenation.com
    http://www.hatewatch.org
    http://www.apc.org
    http://www.buzzflash.com
    http://www.alternativenews.org
    http://www.batshalom.org
    http://www.gush-shalom.org
    http://otherisrael.home.igc.org/index.html
    http://www.cafeprogressive.com
    http://www.civicmediacenter.org
    http://www.counterpunch.org/links.html
    http://www.nion.us

    Civil Rights in General:
    Know your constitutional rights. Groups and individuals who feel that their civil rights have been threatened,
    consider contacting the National Lawyers Guild at (212) 627-2656 or through
    the following url:  http://www.nlg.org

    Social Justice in General:
    http://www.resistinc.org
    http://www.quixote.org
    http://www.au.org
    http://www.schr.org

                         Tiger Burning
    Tiger Burning. Copyright © 2001 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography.
    All Rights Reserved.

    Pink City of Night--that sky like something out of Bradbury's Martian Chronicles or more than a hint of the Age of Aquarius dawning a lost Atlantis at last? Well, why not? If only a sufficient number believed in alternatives! What have we got to lose in this age of global sweatshops and night-sweats, blood and nausea, enough to go around, enough for our daily dose along with our daily bread or the lack of it. Sartre and those who followed in the footsteps of Huis clos and La nausée(el señor Juan Carlos Onetti, for instance) barely scratched the surface of the infinite permutations of nausea, the flesh and thought gridlock of greed and exploitation at best transformed, with painkillers and uppers, into a queasy numbness. Suspended between what has been and what is to come, the evening shadows float on a vast mirror of water, the little carnival lights traverse the sky on a line swaying in the breeze. From the Navy Pier another G.W.G. Ferris wheel begins to roll, slowly, train tracks and boxcars pulled up off the ground, bent, and linked togetherin a great circle, Ouroboros of time and space, of fate and fortune, of desire for (if you wish) life, not death, our desire as we two together stroll and observe the twilight, the lengthening shadows, holding on not to reason or to hope, for perhaps there is neither in this world, but to a color--pink, deep unabashed pink--and to all for whom, for which it stands under the sign of the mares' kiss.

    Pink City of Night: The Mares' KissCarnival Time ClockPink City of Night: The Mares' Kiss

    Pink City of Night,text and images.
    Copyright © 2001 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography.
    All Rights Reserved.



    Black angels #1Black angels #2

    City of black angels, horses, and riders. We, the ridden below. Cast-iron casting down from the heights. The heights from which we have fallen. Or so some would profess though the myths lie underfoot. The angels of our ambitions--these messengers of mixed messages--stand already the black, already the white, of the fumey sky against which they float in reverse relief. No, not LA. Nor Rome, that city of seven hills, seven heads, cloned ones, too. But, as when Almodovar superimposes City of Women and All About Eve, a bit of both. Cities within cities--Mayrit, Magrit, Magerit, mother sources of hidden springs, my mother's Pandora's box, the water of life (as Tank Girl knows), the living waters from whence courses a river of blood sustaining heaven, a tide of creatures from the shining prison of this world. The Great Ark of the Genome Project dumps its twins into the flood of this world--now that we know we can, it's sink or swim.

    Ten 'til ten. Ten 'til ten, read all the clocks in this city. When we insist on deadly certainties, you know the ship is sinking. The hour of trial has begun, the hour of mercury climbing toward disintegration. Or is it The Trial? Courtroom dramas and blow-it-up plots that end in prescripted death, clockwork executions as clean and timely as leaking landfills, couch potato blood clots. All that rises must converge in this age of global entropy and profit-motive apathy (numbed appetites) serving us up to the day of wrath when salt shall once again be as gold, water as platinum, breathable air turned commodity more limited than any precious metal. Lyrical as the Gifts of the Three Kings of Capital Technology. Pretty as the choke of a minimum wage asthma attack. And light--ha!, light. You, me, each cell, each molecule in our bodies carrying a phosphorescent digital price tag, a barcode brand, a code of bars flowing from the shining prison of this virtual world shopping mall.

    Evening leads with romantic promise--an escape from the day--along the Gran Via back down to the Puerta del Sol, the Gate of the Sun at the very center of this metropolis. Where the sun also rises, why should this city be an exception to the fates of Dresden or Baghdad? Every street in this barrio has been torn up to receive the cables of "wireless" technology. Each morning brings the pre-bellum of drilling and pounding in the name of progress, in the name of light to come. But now se hace de noche. And night arrives dressed as an ephemeral glimmering stepping out in quivering feathers from beneath an archway, a dream-weaving thief with gloves and lashes long as those of that arch-diva towering for a moment in St. Mark's Square, pigeons fluttering around her as she sings, sighingly,"Why, oh why ...?"

    It is too late. Or, rather, it has become too late. (Here we sit, two lonely old people ... Hey, wake up, wake up and dream us a different ending!) Diva-night turns like a steel girder against the sky "old as an iron queen" with all that glass and who knows what else beyond the night's luminous haze about to fall--"the fall of a crystal palace"--upon self-absorbed heads wearing their jokes, ostrich eggs, for helmets: "Chicken-little, chicken-little." But the sun also rises, doesn't it? A blinding egg yoke of hope in the sky. More than seventy years ago (that long ago?!) two characters out of a well-read (perhaps over-read) hardboiled novel flagged a taxi, climbed in, told the driver where to drive, settled back nestling close together (what a luxury!), and turned out onto the Gran Via, one saying to the other, "We could have had such a damned good time together" and the other replying, "Yes. Isn't it pretty to think so?," not especially concerned about that mounted policeman raising his baton. (But then, what's a baton next to the replicating kin of little boy bomb, the repeating dwindle, dwindle of little star wars?)

    Then again, we are not them, those characters of the mid 1920s. We are us (or who are we?) trying to keep our eyes open (weren't they?) scanning for signs while this life zooms by so quickly or rather we do (captured in Polaroid today, liquidated tomorrow) we barely have time to comprehend what lies before us (or within us) and all is hindsight (isn't it pretty to think so?). And not even that, the doppler effect of an explosion on the other side of the world, on our blind side. What would it mean to be touched by what we see? Bearing witness, a watchword for ethical living--precarious in the face of those powers who would rather we not exist if our living be an inconvenience, a nuisance to them. (Away, away in a patrol van or some other vehicle of seizure-inducing flashing lights.)

    Ojos liquidos

    Ojo liquidado, liquidated eye. The eye, a liquid-filled organ. Not enough to cry our eyes out. And yet something must flow beyond the mind-forged manacles reinforced at every turn by barbed wire, electric fences, walls of concrete and steel, invisible radiowaves, electronic eyes, the flat gray screens of the idiot box designed to keep us hypnotized in place.

    Black angels #3
     

    Imagine (if you still can) that we channel the diva's absurd and flaming incongruity within the flow of time. We, the city of black angels, of ruffled feathers and ephemeral glimmerings, Weimar-wakened, divining, divine against liquidation, against the deadly (and dull) reduction to capitalized flows.
     
     

    Even at night the clouds blow over the city, flame-like. A strange wind strikes up, sweeping across the plains, now sirocco, now polar gust, the fever-chills of the earth communicating with our pores, the lining of our lungs, our skin-deep illusion of separateness, whether we like it or not, whether we look or look away.
     
     

    To fly, as to crawl, we need an atmosphere.
    We must breathe.
     
     




    Black Angels and Ojos liquidos, text and images. Copyright © 2001 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography.
    All Rights Reserved.



    How to describe this coffin, stained glass blue, cover for a book not of hours, but of scales, the scales of time weighing heavy on the eyes, flaking like plaster? The lamp, her blue-moon piano, and the flask. The body awaits release and the mind even more so from the cathode-ray tube, not this one, but the other one in whose gray face billions escape themselves, inactive on their couches, already lying in state ...


    Click for the journey
     

    Her Blue-Moon Piano. Copyright © 2001 by Jill Casid & Maria DeGuzman, SPIR: Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.
     


     Physicians for Social Responsibility: http://www.psr.org
    fiery lake
    http://www.ncwarn.org
    against the fiery lake of burning sulphur that burns day and night
    Plant floating on fiery lake. Copyright © 2002 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography.
    All Rights Reserved.

    Remember Three Mile Island, 1979, breakfast in "America" with radiation and cornflakes and crisis (what crisis?) and the crime of the century. Thank you, Supertramp, for all the songs of those twentieth-century years. Well, well, well, so much for progress. Nuclear dumping grounds just keep on growing, keep on creeping, nearer and nearer to our backyards, if you've got one (which is already assuming a lot). Suppose you do have a backyard, and suppose you even live in a place of green grass and trees, maybe plum in the middle of the dappled profusion of the botanically opulent South, in an Arcadia of sorts, apparently, anyway. You might think this sort of thing won't touch you, hasn't already seeped into your Snicker Dandy coffee taken leisurely on a sun-bathed terrace while a parliament of fowls chirp from dawn to dusk and under a mid-summer night's full moon.

    Neither the Goddess, nor God, is the cleaning lady. We are our environment. If we trash it, not even
    the meek shall inherit the earth.

    Angelitos of time.Copyright © 2001 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.

    What do you do when time runs out and you're still running? www.aclu.org


                  spectacles of the ghost at the bottom of the sea             street of the box brides and bag divas

                    Copyright © 2001 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography. All Rights Reserved.


    Nightbathers
    Nightbathers
    Copyright © 2001 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography.
    All Rights Reserved.
     

    Dawning of a Queer Planet
    Dawning of a Queer Planet
    Copyright © 2001 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography.
    All Rights Reserved.

    Headlines claim, "cosmic X-rays reveal new forms of matter!" New forms of matter or is it new states? Form and state, what's the connection? Anyway, the excitement, the excitation, appears to be over rare sub-atomic particles briefly in existence (on our earth) only during experiments inside particle accelerators. Particle accelerators. What a concept. What would E. A. Poe and company have to say about that? Poe who was fascinated, no, actually committed, to vibrational life beyond entropy, much to the consternation of his detrators who snicker, "Delirium tremens, short and simple." Well, not so short and simple for those for whom Lady Madeline is coming again, a perpetual Second Coming, up out of the basement. And you know what? Methinks the Lady is mad! Mad at those with new particles, new states of matter, and no new thoughts beyond the usual brutally boring binaries, the us v. them, the bloody fantasies of war among the stars, the continuation of colonization and conquest now to other planets, the rat race (dear Rattus, pardon the misnomer) to a slave's grave. Oh, what a wonderful world it could be ... .
     
     


    Mad Tryst with Lady Madeline
    Copyright © 2001 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography.
    All Rights Reserved.
     


    Our Lady of Molten Vision
    Copyright © 2002 by Jill Casid & María DeGuzmán, SPIR: Conceptual Photography.
    All Rights Reserved.


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    Biography of SPIR: Conceptual Photography
    Jill H. Casid & María DeGuzmán

            From 1991 to 2003 Jill Casid and Maria DeGuzman, as the queer feminist partnership SPIR: Conceptual Photography, worked in collaboration with each other and with friends and colleagues to produce narrative photo-text sequences and single images that attempt to transform myths, stereotypes, and icons and visualize ideas in a seductive form. This work is an extension of many of the issues they have been exploring in their scholarship: the negotiations of identity construction; the performance and performativity of ethnicity, gender, and "orientation" (sexual and otherwise); the connection of the "image" to the "cliché"; the icon or "figure" as container of stories; tableau as the allegorization of history; the relations between effects, aesthetics, and ideology; and the possibilities and limits of collaboration and of poaching or pirating some "breathing space" from already "occupied" spaces. Their photo-text work has been featured nationally and internationally in various galleries including the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the Watershed Media Centre in Bristol, and Galeria del progreso in Madrid, Spain. A solo retrospective and exhibition of their new installations "Theft in the Dolls' House" and "Rescue Fantasies" funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andy Warhol Foundation  was on display Fall 2000 at the Center for Exploratory and Perceptual Art (CEPA Gallery) in Buffalo, New York. They have also given numerous presentations and slide-show performances of and about their work at galleries and academic institutions such as the Sackler Museum at Harvard University, Camerawork Gallery in London, the University of Toronto, McGill, Carnegie Mellon, the Massachusetts College of the Arts, Georgetown University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Slade School of Fine Arts, University College London, and the 2001 Modern Languages Association conference in New Orleans. They have published photo-essays in Art Journal, Iris: A Journal About Women, and CEPA Journal and their work has been reproduced for the recent anthology of queer photography The Passionate Camera (Routledge, 1998) edited by Deborah Bright and the critical survey Lesbian Art in America (Rizzoli, 2000) by Harmony Hammond.

    Jill Casid received her B.A. degree from Princeton, her master's degree from the Courtauld, and her doctorate from Harvard--all in the history of art. She taught in the expository writing program at Harvard and was a lecturer in Art and Women's Studies at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she offered courses on gender, sexuality, and visual culture. She is now Associate Professor of Visual Culture Studies in the Department of Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a historian, a theorist of visual culture, and a practicing artist in photo-based media, her work explores the productive tensions between theory, the problems of the archive and the writing of history, issues of gender, race and sexuality, and the performative and processual aspects of visual objects and imaging. Her research in visual studies and in vision and aesthetics includes her book Sowing Empire: Landscape and Colonization (2005) and her forthcoming book Shadows of Enlightenment--both with the University of Minnesota Press. She has just begun a new book project, The Volatile Image: Other Histories of Photography, that reconsiders photography as a complex and unstable medium. Her interest in pursuing the implications of "trans" for the study of visual culture extends to the international visual culture conference on the theme of "trans" which she co-organized (at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in October 2006), the video exhibition she guest curated for the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (2006), and the anthology she is planning on "Visual Transculture." In addition to creating a new curriculum in visual culture studies and contributing to the development of curatorial and museum studies, she also directs the new Visual Culture Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    María DeGuzmán obtained her B.A. from Brown University and received her M.A. and Ph.D. in English and American literature from Harvard University where she subsequently taught Latina/o literature in the expository writing program. She is now Professor of Latina/o Literatures and Cultures in the Department of English at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill as well as the conceiver and organizer of the UNC Latina/o Cultures Speakers Series and the Director of the UNC Program in Latina/o Studies. Her research in American Studies and Latina/o Studies includes two book manuscripts Spain's Long Shadow: The Black Legend, Off-Whiteness, and Anglo-American Empire (published August 2005 by the University of Minnesota Press) and Buenas Noches, American Culture: Latina/o Aesthetics of Night (University of Indiana Press, Spring 2012). She is the author of essays on Latina/o writers Rane Arroyo, Ana Castillo, Graciela Limón, John Rechy, Mariana Romo-Carmona, Achy Obejas, Miguel Algarín, and Floyd Salas, on Gringo would-be "Latino" Walt Curtis, and on the Spanish-Cuban-American War of 1898. Her areas of research range from contemporary U.S. Latina/o literature(s) and theory to visual studies and the relation between photo-graphy and other forms of "writing." On the subject of texts obsessed with photography and presenting "virtual textual images," she has published an article entitled "The Photographic Thought of Latina/o Literature and Cultural Critique" in the international journal Word & Image (Rodopi Press, Summer 2009). She has also composed photo-text fictions (involving text and actual photographic images). An example of these was published by the journal Mandorla: Nueva escritura de las Américas / New Writing from the Americas (Mandorla 12, 2009). See http://www.litline.org/Mandorla/. A number of her photo images (as Camera Query) have been selected and published as book cover images, among them, for Cuban-American writer Cristina García's book of poetry The Lesser Tragedy of Death (Akashic Press, 2010). Her third is on Latina/o literature and photography. Her fourth book, some of the work of which she has been exhibiting in galleries, journals (Centro: Journal at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Mandorla, Stimulus Respond, etc.), and at conferences, is on her "minikin" photography and is being written in collaboration with Carisa R. Showden.