The Apartment Homes Fake Book is a large format black and white photocopy book that is a fractured account of love, loss, and the interplay of photographic memory from the years after the 2008 economic crash. As the crash hit, my sense of self was doubly disjointed as my long-term relationship came to a painful end. Through the Great Recession, along with so many Americans, I felt that there was no possible way to assemble all the fragments of life, both the quotidian and the global, the insides of the apartments and the wildly complicated costs of their existence as financial assets, to make a coherent past or a future.
But late one night night at a warehouse music show a small story began to reorient my view of the world. It was revealed to me that the now-omnipresent bundles of bound sheet music which fill the music stands from weddings to schools to clubs carry were born as bootlegs made by the mob in the 30s and 40s. Specifically, these “fake books” were notoriously riddled with errors, omissions, weird song selections, and smudged printing. Nonetheless, and indeed because these seeming flaws which actually create amble room for mutations, fake books were a cornerstone in the birth of the angular, undulating, improvised sounds of avant jazz.
With this shard of lost history in the back of my mind, I started weaving together images from everything I was working on in my studio and then some: rejected frames, mistakes, sketches, experiments, research images, and even personal snapshots. Working late at night in the local copy shop, neon lights buzzing, cheap coffee by my side, I basically started bootlegging my own artwork. In this flurry of papers, toner and sweat, I’m not sure if I found a way to bridge the vast chasm of history, but some small thread of catharsis emerged, pointing at the disjointed, painful, but richly layered present.
Released in July 2015 by Orenda Records, this 92 page, staple-bound 11x17” book is the cumulation of an artistic dialog that with musician and composer Daniel Rosenboom that started with the 2014 album Fire Keeper (featured as the music in the above video).