The PBS station in Seattle, Channel 9, asked me in 1993 to contribute a piece for their “Spotlight Series” in which they profile Northwest artists.
My project dealt primarily with my relationship to my parents who were both elderly and not in good health. I was interested in memory and, to some degree, the idea of conjuring the presence of a person.
The piece I did was comprised of three elements for each of my parents and myself:
- First, I decided what object best represented each of us; in the case of my father who is represented here, his gardening hat.
- Secondly, I picked an image that corresponded to him; the above culled from hundreds of old slides.
- Finally, I wanted a sound that would correlate to him. I had always remembered his reading “The Call of the Wild” by Jack London to me when I was four or five. Through the years I had saved the copy of the book he would read to me.
I sent the book back to the nursing home in Connecticut he was living in at that point and asked to have him recorded reading from it. He was 85 at that time.
I also did a selection for my mother, who was living in the same nursing home as my father (the same room, for that matter) and one for myself.