GAZETTEER is an ongoing collaborative project undertaken with poet and essayist C.S. Giscombe in 2009. Carried out at different junctures of place and time zones, the works integrate text about travel dreams, with visual responses to ideas implicit in the making of objects that reference maps. As all maps do, these examine the narrative of what is missing or miss-named. Centered in the craft of collage, they exploit the permanent folds of recycleable (American) paper grocery bags, which I find essentially map-like and lovely.

Journal Map

01journal map

Mixed-media on quadrille paper, 17″ X 11.75″

Found Marble Map


Digital photograph of marble floor in a public building, Malibu, CA


The words of text, composed and hand written by CS Giscombe, are visual elements of the maps, as well as literal (or literary) thoughts. They are  meant to be embedded onto the collage in order to be part of the  sequential narration, beyond language.  These details need to be resolved over time. They may require song.

Map of the Homeless Man


Mixed-media acrylic paint, collage, crayon on re purposed brown grocery bag paper, 36″ X 22″

The images in this map were gathered during the weeks that I saw a homeless man every day on my way to the studio on campus, in Berkeley, where Cecil and I were working on the maps for Gazetteer. One day he was gone, but the drawing of the figure, with the saber sword, was left amidst the disarray of his abandoned “encampment.” This text, by Cecil Giscombe, which is deliberately made illegible in my collage, reads:

“Traveling. A $50 bus ticket for somewhere. What were we doing in the woods? Typical border drama: the trees were on both sides of the border—the same woods straddled the political—and everything looked the same. There was a town on the map where we were going, this part is so real-feeling that I’m only pretty sure it’s not a memory. A town on the road that went off the map at a corner, a town past the copyright line.”

Centre County – Women Were in the Dream

04centre county

Mixed-media acrylic paint, collage, crayon on re purposed brown grocery bag paper, 52” X 52”

Centre County (detail 1)

05centre-county-text-detail 2

Centre County (detail 2)

06centre-county-text-detail 1

The text, by Cecil Giscombe, which is partially illegible in the collage, reads:
(8 November 2006) That Bellefont was — as it is — at the
base of a mountain, that halfway up lived a woman
who’d had an affair with the president. Her house
was well know, a shrine. I lived in a garage. A place
that serviced cars. I was dirty, covered with pebbles and
grime. I bicycled frequently to the top if the moun-
tain. I watched the freight train pass over the top.
(21 June 2007) I had built a railroad bridge across
the wide mouth of a creek where it entered the
ocean. Bellefont was coastal and
there was wild land behind it
as well, a web of fire roads stretch-
ing up into a wide slope
of forest, a well-kept ruin.
Women were in the dream.
(21 May 2011) Bellefont was on the NYS/PA
border and Bellefont was coastal — on a
waterway, a tidal river. I drove alongside
the flood but stopped finally, left the car,
began swimming. Swam underwater all
the way across and touched, underwater,
the muddy bank on the other side.

Map of Female Parts (detail of work in progress)


Acrylic house paint, colored pencil, collage on brown paper, 33” X 30”

The text, by Cecil Giscombe, reads:
“The dream was history: we
were in it but not like
white girls. Acting it out but
morally conscious; inside
bodies that nothing could
happen to until the histori-
cal facts of injury, disease,
death and so theoretically
vulnerable; that way but
day to day —— in the encounters
that history had not provide-
ed for —— nothing could harm
us yet we had choices
to do stuff, like bathe and
argue politics. And shine
flashlights at one another.”

Measure for Pleasure

08measure for pleasure

Acrylic paint, ink, collage on brown paper, 36″ X 18″

Meeting of Poets in Time and Space: North South East West

09north south east west

Mixed-media on brown paper, 27” X 33”

I live 20 minutes away from Arad, a small town that over looks the Negev. I often go there to sit at an isolated place on the edge of town, called “THE POINT,” and draw the view. I brought one of my prepared painted blank maps to The Point one day. I wanted to borrow the sinuous line of hills, to show how the deep silence and sense of location and distance can be precisely captured. Months later, when I was back in Berkeley, Cecil wrote some text on a yellow legal pad, and I saw the connection between the two Yellows.
The text in “Meeting of Poets in Time and Space: North South East West,”  by CS Giscombe reads:
“We were in Germany or possibly Belgium. We wondered, sat in grassy town squares late in the afternoon. Everyone spoke English. We kept coming to Ts in the road — I was driving. The road would T and across the top bar of the T would be the vista of another town or city, a place to have come to. (27 January 2011)”

North South East West (detail)

10north south east west detail

Multiplication Map


Acrylic house paint, ballpoint ink on brown paper, 33” X 30”

Map of Art in Jewish History (Dura Europa)


Mixed-media gouache, pastel, collage on brown paper