I got a package in the mail Saturday from one of my snail mail pals. It was pretty large and felt like a magazine; it actually turned out to contain over 100 old Kodak slides! She’s a public/found artist and is always picking up goofy stuff from thrift stores and garage sales.

mary slides

Most of them appear to have been shot in the San Diego area in the early ’80s-early ’90s, judging from notes that were written on the frames and the archival sleeves they were stored in.

When I showed them to my brother, he said “I bet you see a murder being committed!” (I think we watched too many Brian De Palma movies as children.) It took me about an hour and a half to sort through them all; no murders, but when I picked up the pile one slide fell out at random, and I held it up to the light:


I haven’t been 23 in a while, but I can still recognize a marijuana plant.

Hilarity aside, whoever took these photos was actually a really good photographer. They took a lot of macros, photos of the ocean, food photographs that could be in a magazine.


They took a lot of photos of this cat; this one is my favorite. (There’s also a lot of photos of a dog.)


It’s a cherry in an ice cube. I don’t know, I like it.


It is HARD to take close-ups of insects, they tend not to stay still.

I eventually sorted them all into the following categories: animals, mountains/hills, interiors/still lifes, sunsets, light blurs (you know, like when you take a photo from a moving car at night), trees, plants (including about a dozen pot plants and one slide of a huge, hairy bud), food, landscapes w/ buildings, and beaches/ocean (which composed about 1/3 of the slides).

I’d like to make something like this with them, although probably on a smaller scale. Or maybe I could do like a lampshade, somehow? That would look cool, too. I probably have enough slides for both ideas, actually.


I lined a few up along my windowsill, just to get an idea of what they look like. (There’s a strip of metal behind them, they’ll look better without that.) I have a northeast-facing window and I only get a few fleeting moments of direct sunlight early in the morning, so I don’t think fading would be much of a problem. I’d like to eventually scan them all, so the images themselves won’t be destroyed even if they do fade (or I inadvertently destroy them playing Martha Stewart).

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