Baum uses books and language as objects to be manipulated and transformed through photography. In Buzzard two disparate sections of text are brought into a chance alignment that can be read in multiple directions. They also fit into the modernist tradition of concrete poetry (examples include Stephane Mallarmé's A Throw of the Dice and the “cut-up” technique of William Burroughs and Bryon Gysin), with the play of verbal and visual signs becoming the raw material of the work of art that is a carefully calibrated mix of chance and intention. The act of scavenging that the title suggests is also purposefully ambiguous, referring not only to the artist's picking over of a dying world but also to the rapacious way in which a rapidly advancing digital culture colonizes how we process information and perceive reality.
Inscription: [no inscriptions or annotations]
Erica Baum; [Bureau, New York]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Everyday Epiphanies: Photography and Daily Life Since 1969," June 25, 2013–January 26, 2014.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Reconstructions: Recent Photographs and Video from the Met Collection," September 21, 2015–March 13, 2016.
Baum, Erica. Dog Ear. 1st ed. Brooklyn: Ugly Duckling Press, 2011. no. pl. 4.
Baum, Erica. Dog Ear. 2nd ed. Brooklyn: Ugly Duckling Press, 2016. no. pl. 4.