Jill R. Baker
T H E A R C H A E O L O G Y O F S H E L L S (2009) shells, actions, photographs
for the project Oblique Patience, curated by Britta Urness, using the Oblique Strategies created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt: a set of 100 cards, each with a suggestion or strategy for creative action.
On the concept of patience: While living on the Oregon Coast, daily walks on the isolated beaches lead to encounters with fragments of shells and sea creatures, washed and worn and polished by the water over time. I thought about patience as being part of the long process of wearing down these shells over time until they no longer resemble their original, living form. I thought about archaeology as the act of finding these fragments and imagining them in another form.
For this project I began with a shell fragment. I randomly drew from the deck of oblique strategies and performed an action with the shell on the beach. This action was documented with photographs and the shell was framed.