3 Photos, 2014

"I approach taking pinhole camera photos in much the same way as I approach writing poems: both make me notice. I wrote a poem called 'My Defect' that ends like this: 'I’ll show a little world off / in the material of it.' I like how the aesthetic of these pinhole photos shows off the material world of this—harsh—place, my grandparents’ former cattle ranch in South Dakota. There’s roughness in that world and way of life, even violence. I like a little roughness in my poems, too—breaking standard syntax and trying to let the unexpected show off. And there’s mystery in the process of both art forms. I built my pinhole camera out of an Altoids mint tin I could carry in my pocket around the ranch; it had a magnet for a shutter that I removed to expose the film, never quite knowing what the result would be until it was developed. I like the defects: bleeds of light, strange scratches, what look like tufts of cow hair." - Kelsi Vanada



Kelsi Vanada is