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Copyright 2017
Harry Schneider

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Tale and Task

We know that the view at the top of a mountain is inspiring: it is awe, we can feel that. But we can’t visualize what inspiration or awe is. We might see a photograph that stirs that idea back up, but inspiration isn’t the view from a mountain top. It is a feeling, and an idea that is unique to how our minds work. It as an idea that free from the physicality of the land.

This investigation in Wind Mountain was about exploring place through site. It became a way to explore place through emotive feelings, abstract ideas, and the intention in being present.

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I wasn’t making work about Wind Mountain, but I was using Wind Mountain to create work.
Wind Mountain became a tool in my thought process that helped me explore, and perform the operations of investigating the understanding of awareness that one has with place.

Beyond that initial investigation of place, one of the things I set out to do for myself, was to create a process of conceptual thinking that correlated to my process of making within print.

This is significant for myself, as I find that the history of print is an important tradition to continue and make relevant. I think it is critical to know the techniques, to do them well, and, most importantly, to teach them to others. This is because print informs and influences our everyday lives, from reading labels, to signing a receipt, and to writing emails. It becomes important to understand old technologies, In order to understand new ones.

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In Oregon, for example, and for much of the West, land is valued at a premium. With much of the land owned by the federal government issues tend to arise around on its use, and most importantly, who gets to use it. And though these current issues of land use are more direct engagements than what it was I was investigating, it becomes important to understand our perception of land as site, and also our awareness to land as place.

A place is not just a site, there are histories and emotions tied to it. Wind Mountain is as much a site as it is a place. And so I might ask, how might we positively engage with site? How do we become aware of site as place?