a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
This project has evolved from my exploratory fusion of handmade paper and writing. In tandem with the materially rich process of making paper, individual words are perceived as creative elements, as design motifs, and as dynamic utterances and ciphers. Each Signpost begins with a 3.5 × 5-inch handmade paper. Each paper is embossed in (grade one) Braille and inscribed in lower case text with a synergistic word. These papers are then placed innocuously (and temporarily) in public locations and photographed in situ. They are left in place, that passersby may notice, read, retrieve and/or discard them.
To date these actions have occurred primarily within my immediate surroundings in ubiquitous public spaces. Like the relationship between material and text, our visceral connection to commonplace locations is distinguished by the inclusion of the handmade, handwritten note. Signposts is a year-long activity presented as a series of mnemonics, emphasizing and supporting our best public and personal determinations.
Valerie Constantino is a visual artist and writer, working with a range of traditional and contemporary hybrid art forms. Seminal studies in textile art led to her broad studies on the subject of materiality along with its implications regarding the malleable intersections of time, matter and identity. These ongoing investigations together with reflections on the intricate and mutable qualities of ecological systems and societal relations continue to inspire her creative research. An exhibiting artist and published writer, Constantino has received a number of notable awards in support of her interdisciplinary work. She holds a MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has taught and lectured at a number of academic institutions. Valerie currently lives and works in northern California.