false notes (history lesson)

false notes (history lesson) (1867 - 2015)

In the summer of 2015, I re-photographed over twenty locations documented by photographer, Timothy O’Sullivan and geologist, Clarence King in the "Report of the Geological Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel" (1867 - 69). This report was one of four land surveys, funded by the US War Department, that facilitated the colonization of the American landscape in the 19th century. I presented the re-survey in the form of a projected history lesson at The Front, New Orleans, for PhotoNOLA in December of 2015. During this presentation language, imagery, and geology were composited to overwrite the coherence of the original survey document. In a music score, a false note (or ghost note) is represented by an "X" for a note head instead of the traditional oval or parentheses. As a sound, the false note is muted and holds no discernible pitch or rhythmic value. I evoked the ghost note through a photographic score that stood alongisde projections of language, imagery, and goelogy. The result was a transparent and illegible historiography of the American West. After the presentation, I made composite prints from the overlaid documents, which resulted in a body of work titled, false notes (re-mix)