Using images from the University of Oregon Special Collections, I explore the repurposing of an archive. History is often viewed and understood through photographs, allowing for interpretations of a distant past, and in Unknown Futures, these images find new purpose. I write personal stories using these images as the raw material of my language. Focusing on the youth of this university's past generations, we gain insight into the developing mind of the young person, experiencing their sexuality, a new sense of freedom, and their definition as a working member of society. This coming of age is a time of discovery and a battle between expectations and desires. In order to take control at this critical time, one must have, above all, a willingness to accept the unknown future.
The book exists in three forms:
1. One-of-a-kind handmade exhibition version featuring letterpress text inserts by Adam Meeks.
2. Premium, handmade edition of fifteen including a text by Adam Meeks.
3. Trade version printed through Blurb online publishing. Both the Premium and trade versions are available for purchase.
The installation of Unknown Futures focuses on hands. By digging into University of Oregon's historical archives, I am able to explore more impersonally what it means to be a young person. Completed just before graduation, I was faced with the predicament of what I want to do with my own hands; I could continue to work creatively and use my hands as tools of exploration, or I could join the work force and use my hands as tools of production and earning. In the gallery, I situate the viewer between images and hands, forced to reconcile the relationship between the two. Then, upon reading the book, readers must choose what to do with their own hands by pinning their worn gloves to the wall.