jay besemer - gorgeous hybrids and recombinant poetry

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Four Tips for Working with Editors
I am guest-editing a special issue of NERVE LANTERN with Joel Allegretti!
Register for My Four-Week Poetry Class at Spudnik Press; In Conjunction with Printer's Ball 2015 PUSH & PULL !
New Interview up at Rain Taxi (and a review I wrote, too)
David London's Magic Outside The Box in Chicago - April 22, 2014!


"silicone" vs. "silicon"
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Gary Clean Water Celebration 2013
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Nerve Lantern: Axon of Performance Literature
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Red Rover Series
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seventh annual chicago calling arts festival
Small Press Distribution
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The Querist of Forms
Toby Altman
Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics
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yoko ono


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The Querist of Forms


The Querist of Forms: Polaroiding in Public

Polaroiding in Public 

Photography is ubiquitous in the wake of the "digital revolution." Versatile, powerful cameras are standard equipment on devices and tools from phones to vehicles. These days, no one looks twice at someone holding their phone or phone-sized camera up in the most public, everyday places: restaurants, museums, buses and subway trains, the street, the grocery store, school, etc. A traditional-looking DSLR--with its "pro" sign value, its documentary seriousness and its satisfying heft--no longer generates much interest among spectators.

My Gallery samples at Impossible Project

I've lately been adding some of my own Impossible Projectâ„¢ instant photographs to the gallery area of the Impossible website.  See them here--and check there often, as I am taking a lot of photos these days!

Recovering Overexposed Impossible Project Pics

You know the feeling.  

You set up a shot with your instant camera, loaded with Impossible Projectâ„¢ film.  You've taken every precaution against light contamination in the first few seconds after the shot exits the camera (perhaps purchasing an accessory to aid your efforts in image-shielding).  But for whatever reason--you're in a hurry, you're distracted--you later discover that you've accidentally blown out your carefully-composed photograph.  It hurts. It stings.

Big Bang: New Studio Visit

It's been a long time since I posted about what's happening in the studio.  I've lost interest somewhat in traditional oil painting, though I'm confident there will come a time when the paint imperative takes hold once more.  I've got a stash of new canvases on standby, for when I catch the flash of motivation for the painting project I'm toying with in my head.

Instead of painting, lately I've returned to photography (the discipline I've pursued for as many years as I've devoted to poetry).

My Treat

Last week I bought myself a treat to celebrate my participation in the "Visual Poetics" exhibition this month at Addison Center for the Arts. 

I went to see the wonderful people atA&A Studiosand bought a used Polaroid Spectra camera, as seen here.   I actually bought their advertised Spectra Starter Kit, because it came with a three-pack of all three Impossible Projectâ„¢ films created for use in the Spectra.  

In the days before digital photography (and way before cameraphones, much less smartphones and pads) the exciting Polaroid camera family made available vast new ranges of possibility for impatient photographers.

Happy New Year!

Here's a little photo I took called "Redeye." It's my own nod and wink to the new year, in hope of a brilliant if unclear future.  (And hey, if you look really closely in the top lens, you'll see me!)

Some of you might want to know that I have work inBlazeVOX11 Winter 2011, hot off the server today! You can view the issue in its fullscreen glory (and/or download it) here.  I've also included links on my Artist Info and Web Publications pages, for the sake of total redundancy.

more sun stuff: advanced solar printing

Yesterday, I wrote about how to make photograms using paper treated with UV-sensitive cyanotype emulsion, available from various manufacturers.  Now I'd like to share some ideas for how to take that process a little further, by using the same paper to create a more traditional photographic image.  I'll be showing you two very similar processes using inkjet-printer transparencies.  One procedure creates a print with inverted values--like a photonegative.  The other procedure uses a negative transparency and produces a fine blue-as-blue-can-be photo print.

sunny day fun: camera-free photography

Now that it's properly summer in Chicago, it's time to take the art outdoors whenever possible.  One way to do that is by taking the camera out and roaming the city (country, world); I've been doing that for a long time and obviously I love it.  But there are other ways to make photographs even without a camera.  One of these ways is to make solar photograms (often called "sunprints," in the same way that facial tissues are called by the brand name of their most popular manufacture).
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