Being There

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Being on TV is always odd and no less so last week when a Wisconsin Public Television segment on our Real Photo Postcard  Survey Project aired. We heard of the solid air date through a newspaper reporter named Suzanne Weiss at the Herald-Times-Reporter. She'd received a press release and wrote a feature story on our project and the upcoming TV coverage.

Television is random as it beams into homes and places sometimes unanticipated. For example, we didn't get around to visiting our friend Nigel at Fox Lake Correctional as we usually do around the holidays. A fan of public media, he anticipated seeing us on TV. After the feature aired on January 6, he wrote us a hand-written letter critiquing our on-camera fashions:
It was fun to see you guys again...one of the early shots showed Johnie while the narrator babbled on and it appeared as though he was wearing a black scarf and I was like Oh no! Pretentious indoor artist scarf. But then later on I saw it was the black camera cloak. So obviously I was relieved...
We received other various responses including an email from a cordial woman named Judith who attached a digital snap capturing her profile. She was at a hockey game wearing wearing pink cat eye glasses and had a pointy chin. She wrote: "Julie...I think we could have been twins...ha ha...I am just 200 pounds larger."

When Liz Koerner (producer/director), Brad Wray (sound engineeer) and Mike Eicher (videographer) visited our studio in June to shoot the segment, we were finishing an intense string of portraits and palladium prints for a project to open in July at Portrait Society Gallery in Milwaukee. Our studio was cluttered with the stuff of unfinished works-in-progress, yet the crew found order and a visual story. They worked around the sporadic clattering of beer bottles being emptied from a dumpster at the bar across the street and the tangle of lights and cameras only leaving behind one quartz light and stand which we still need to return. We invited our longtime neighbors Ryan Ackley and Rich Bouril to come by for postcard portraits. Ryan owns the Boarding House, a skateboard shop, around the corner from our studio. We've known him since he was nine when we first moved into our studio. Richie owns the Culture Cafe across town and we share rural Wisconsin roots and buy his fresh-roasted coffee. We photographed the crew too.
Liz Koerner (producter/director) interviews John Shimon
in the midst of our cluttered Manitowoc studio while
Mike Eicher shoots video and Brad Wray records sound (6.17.10).

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