CHRONOLOGY and links to the selected ARCHIVE, 1974-2005

Pre-Digital — 1974-1984

—1974: Bloom and Hill establish MANUAL as an artistic collaboration, May

—1974: acquire Sony PortaPak and other 1/2″-video equipment, June-July

—1974: Hand Series:

  • Eight photographs exploring perceptions of time, touch and events in nature.

—1974: first of Art in Context; Homage to Walter Benjamin photographs – continues through 1983:

  • Fifteen photographic images in which the context and critical relation between an original work of art and its
    reproduction, or re-creation, is playfully rehearsed.

—1975: Woodland Rituals I– continues into summer 1976:

  • Five quasi-documentary, staged photographs exploring the concept of oneness with Nature, the main event
    being closely monitored by a Sony PortaPak, which represents witness, mediator, and medium.

—1976: move to Houston, August

—1979-80: first SX-70 Series(e.g., Men & Women) using two video cameras, a SpecialEffectsGenerator, and Siegel Colorizer

—1980: individual Bloom and Hill projects, and MANUAL’s Art in Context for Museum Fine Arts, Houston exhibition:

    • Suzanne Bloom and Ed Hill (MANUAL): Research and Collaboration, February, MFAH.

—1981-82: 13 Ways of Coping with Nature:

  • Thirteen photographs, and a poem based on the form of Wallace Stevens’ 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.
    In their poem, MANUAL thinks aloud, “Can ecological thought help ART?”, and, “Art imitates [our idea of] Nature.”

—1983-84: VIDEOLOGY, exhibition includes videotape Time of Our Signs, and drawings:

  • A series of 120 photographic images shot off a monitor screen (using a close-up lens), further homogenizing
    an already pluralized culture fully processed by mass media.

Analog Electronic / Early Computer / Digital — 1985-1989

—1985: transitional video images, Videotrope Series, with overlaid text via a VHS camcorder and character generator

—1985: acquire Sony computer with 4-bit color/framegrabber, fall

—1985-86: Sameness and Difference, multi-panel work and miscellaneous pieces, 1985-86:

  • An early computer piece, eight color and B&W photographs layered with words and digital line drawings,
    speculating on the nature of the gender gap.

—1986: acquire Dell 286 computer with Targa video board and TIPS software, fall

—1987: first solo exhibit of digital work, Good / Life:

  • Early digital photographs, characterized by text superimposed on appropriated or constructed imagery; for example, Good LifeBig Taste, Lore/Lure, Dogma, Cure All, Redemption; work which deals primarily with the influence of popular media on culture.

—1987: NEA/Rockerfeller Interdisciplinary Arts Fellowship

—1988: AFTER NATURE multimedia installation:

  • Exhibition includes two video installation works, and photographs such as, Natural/History, Utopia, and Natural.

—1988: acquire first Macintosh (Mac II) computer, December

—1988-89: completed tryptich Perfect World, and multi-frame Target, a playful deconstruction of the superfund site Ely Copper Mine

Second Generation Digital — 1990-2001

—1990-91: FOREST\PRODUCTS, multimedia installation,  Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston:

  • Installation includes ten large-scale wall pieces, six-foot light box, video sculpture, two interactive computer programs, and a 24-minute videotape, Past/Oral, based on the symphonic form of Beethoven’s Pastorale.

—1991-92: Two Worlds, the introduction of 3-D rendered objects into photographic imagery:

  • The two worlds referred to 19th-century materialism & 21st-century virtuality co-existing ambivalently within the picture frame.

—1991: artists’ residency at California Museum of Photography

—1992: NEA Visual Artists Fellowship in Photography

—1993: A Constructed Forest (installation for Iterations, organized by the International Center of Photography):

  • Five pairs of photographs mounted within an open 2″ x 4″, Z-configured structure; videotape; and computer program (in 3 Works compiled between 1993-95, including programs by Esther Parada and Stephen Axelrad, edited by Edward Earle, and published in CD-ROM form by URC/CMP, 1996)

—1993: FotoFeis and Scottish Arts Council commission, town forest, Inverness, Scotland

—1993: NEA Visual Artists Public Projects, auspices Niagara University

—1996: man.machine.forest

  • An exhibition consisting of miscellaneous photo-constructions (e.g., Broken Frame, The Key), image with audio component (Elegy), and first Iris injet prints, including machine.forest, and man.machine.forest

—1996: Aqua Profunda Est Quieta commission:

  • A commission for the Houston Water Operations Testing Laboratory, under the auspices the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County Public Art and Urban Design program, to create a full range of visual components for the laboratory site, including custom icon, wall text,
    2-channel video installation, large-scale photographs (one 18-foot mural), inlaid iconic walkway, and iconic exterior molding.  The project took two years; work was completed and  installed in 1999.

—1998: The Trouble with Arcadia project:

  • A six-year long undertaking consisting of three series: Troubled_Arcadia, Arcadian Landcape, and Et In Arcadia Ego. The inscription Et in Arcadia Ego inspired the series, which began as a creative deconstruction of Nicolas Poussin’s 17th-century painting, The Arcadian Shepherds, and devolved into increasingly speculative and seamless 19th to 21st-century “arcadias.”

—1998: Death by Landscape, 12 minutes; first completely digital video production

—1999-2000: Time Out Of Joint (TOOJ)

  • A 20-minute videotape, and exhibition including Sunset Clause , The Naturalist and The Transistor, The Cutting,
    The Story of Water, and The Story of Wood.

—2000: acquire first digital SLR camera, Nikon DI, with 4 megapixels.

—2000: Et In…, 13-minute videotape with expanded soundscore

Protracted Image, Errant Arcadia, and Retrospective Exhibition — 2001-2005

—2001: The Protracted Image: computer programmed projection installation

—2002: MANUAL | Errant Arcadia published:

  • Catalogue to the Arcadia Project (Houston Artists Fund, Houston, TX and International Center of Photography, New York, NY)

—2002-2004: Major Retrospective: Two Worlds, The Collaboration of Ed Hill and Suzanne Bloom

  • Exhibition curated by Edward W. Earle and organized by the International Center of Photography; exhibition dates: International Center of Photography, New York City, June 28 – September 1, 2002.
  • Travelled to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, expanded and reorganized by Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography, Anne Wilkes Tucker; exhibition dates: February 8 – May 2, 2004.

—2005: Archive Fever: A Digital Wonder Room commission:

  • Site-specific installation commissioned by the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH on the occasion of the museum’s twentieth anniversary.
  • —The 15-hour computer program, Archive Fever, consists of 113 animated sequences of various durations which explore one percent of the museum’s vast collections and celebrate the intersections between art history, culture, and technology.
  • —90-min, HD video, Opus CXXV, documents a succession of visitors to the Hood Museum’s European gallery during a single afternoon in March, 2005.  The center of focus is The Sculpture Gallery, a large painting (88″ x 67.5″) by Dutch painter Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, active in England, 1836-1912.