20190212

Cecelia Chapman


from Club Paradise 2019

Blue Souvenir: memory and wampum, vacation and consciousness. The prints are cyanotypes, made with sunlight. The photographic process, originally called a 'blueprint,' was used by builders for drawing plans.The selections here also include two drawings of wampum shells with their distinctive purple edge.

A souvenir is a memory aide that reminds you of a wonderful experience. In Blue Souvenir, a series of designs remind you that the vacation industry has a blueprint for your consciousness.


Remember when you were on vacation? You didn’t have to do anything. You were probably able to attain a high state of relaxation, to alter your consciousness. Maybe you swam in the sea, surfed, skied, did yoga, or hiked or bicycled the coast. You were able to produce wonderful memories of experiences to consume later.


You might spend a lot of time remembering a pleasurable vacation. Nostalgia, memory and consciousness are embedded in vacation. And an altered consciousness is a sign of a successful vacation. When you enjoy a memory, you want to produce more. You become a producer and consumer of memory, and, you are a product of memory.




Brand marks and logos are memory aides. Maybe the symbols of brands give you as much pleasure as the product. If so, perhaps you’ll do a Google search for more of a brand's products online, thus generating more revenue for Google through your unpaid work in memory and desire.


Cape Cod is a vacation destination ringed with ivory sand beaches covered in purple-edged quahog clam shells. Wampanoag carved the shells into 'wampum beads.' They wove the beads in designs that are records of complicated lineages of tribes, pacts and gatherings in the paradise peninsula 7,000 years before Europeans arrived. One design documents a more recent land arrangement with settlers:

'As long as the Sun shines upon this Earth, that is how long OUR Agreement will stand; Second, as long as the Water still flows; and Third, as long as the Grass Grows Green at a certain time of the year. Now we have Symbolized this Agreement and it shall be binding forever as long as Mother Earth is still in motion.'

It is interesting to note, if scientists proceed with a plan of blocking sunlight to prevent global warming, and if water dries up and is poisoned with the soil by fracking, pesticides, oil spills, toxic chemicals, Monsanto and jet plane pollution, plastic waste and sunblock, only a dead earth is left spinning. Then this agreement might very well be null and void.


'Wampum' did become a word for money. European explorers and settlers used wampum beads along with coin as currency. Later settlers mass produced the beads, flooding the market with predictable results.


'My family arrived on the Mayflower,' describes someone's ancestors' migration on the Mayflower ship from England to Cape Cod. Thus the Mayflower captain's log is a peculiarly American memory aide of lineage.




Cecelia Chapman is an investigative artist and graphic designer whose work examines how we live and think. Her practice is based in the image, and the ways it influences consciousness and the long range effects. She is a California artist currently living in Massachusetts. Club Paradise is in collaboration with the Texas internet artist, Jeff Crouch, and includes video, mail collaboration and photography. http://www.ceceliachapman.com/club-paradise
 
 
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