– Jennifer “JJ” Jones.
I commissioned Jennifer “JJ” Jones to continue her Agnes Varda Forever project, which began in the summer of 2020 after JJ and her son watched movies directed by Agnes Varda. Acting on a desire for more people to know about the mother of French New Wave cinema, she painted “AGNES VARDA FOREVER” in eight inch tall letters on the utility pole at the end of her block.
On the way to visit a classmate in October 2020, I drove past this bold sign and was delighted by its spirit and message, not realizing that it was JJ’s neighborhood or her handiwork. I was so excited about the sign and its striking letterforms that I emailed her about it later that night.
She replied: “One night, when I couldn’t sleep, I went down to the corner of MY STREET and painted that pole!!!!! What is incredible is that YOU saw it! I thought about sending you a picture of it but then thought that a better thing to do would be to someday, go and paint it on something near your apartment, so you could accidentally stumble upon it! This is SO magical, that it worked out this way. My heart and my mind are blown!!!”
In March 2021 we collaborated on the design and production of a poster with this “AGNES VARDA FOREVER” message. Since then, she has hung approximately two hundred of these posters on poles around Portland and beyond. When I asked her about this experience she said, “I’m born to post stuff in public!”
I am someone actively looking for signs like hers: expressions of excitement, wonder, and discovery that resonate so deeply that they can’t help but burst into public and be shared. And I’m not the only one! In the short time since JJ posted the first poster on April 5, 2021, Oregon has been one of the United States regions in which the web search term “Agnes Varda” is most popular, according to Google Trends.
We’re already exploring other public ways to celebrate the life and work of Agnes Varda and are thrilled and inspired by the conversations we are having with people contacting us about the poster. For more information and photos, visit www.agnesvardaforever.com.
Laura Glazer: Who is Agnes Varda to you, as if you were introducing her to somebody who had never heard of her?
Jennifer “JJ” Jones: It’s easy to introduce her and say who she is. It’s a little harder to say who she is to me.
Laura: Well, do the hard thing.
JJ: Yeah, when in doubt do the hard things!
Laura: Because I’m really curious about that.
JJ: I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I have always been a movie lover and I’d taken it seriously as an art form and cared about seeing films from all over the world. But only recently did I start to even notice the lack of female directors. That’s the part I’m embarrassed about. I feel like, what’s wrong with me, you know? I call myself a feminist, but then I never even paid attention to the fact that almost every film I’ve ever seen in my life has been directed by a man. That isn’t to say that I wasn’t aware when I was seeing a film made by a woman, but I just didn’t think much about it.
Laura: Where does she fit into this realization?
JJ: Kind of late in the game. I had heard of her, but I don’t think I had seen a movie of hers until I saw Faces Places. I saw that with you and that’s why you and I have this connection with her.
Laura: I assumed you had seen many of her movies and that that’s what brought you there.
JJ: No, I think I saw one little experimental short once and that’s why I knew her name at all. It was in a program quite a long time ago, that was just a bunch of short films and hers was there. I think that’s the only reason I knew her name when the Faces Places film came out and that’s why I went to see it.
I’m also a little embarrassed to say that I went to see that movie because I knew about JR. (1) Then I went to watch it and I was like, forget him, Agnes Varda, she’s blowing my mind. I saw that movie and I was like, I can’t believe how great she is, where have I been all my own life, not paying attention to this lady. But I’m not too hard on myself about it because in her own words, she said, “I was not a filmmaker; I was a woman who made films.” And when she said that, I didn’t know if she was saying that from her own perspective or if she was saying that this is what the film world told her.
I know that she said it because she never had real commercial success. I think if she had made more mainstream movies and if they had been better received by the world, then maybe she would have gotten more press and more attention. I’m sad that she’s not here because we can’t ask her, if commercial success had been more of an option for her, would she have even wanted it?
Laura: How does that relate to why you don’t feel so bad?
JJ: I feel like it’s not my fault that I don’t know who she is. It’s the film world’s fault they did not put her in my view, and I was a prime target because I watch foreign films and I go to art house cinemas. Why didn’t I ever see her before?
Laura: I thought you were saying it absolved you in a way because you weren’t a woman movie watcher. You were a woman who watches movies, trying to figure it out.
JJ: That’s true. I guess I did start saying this thing: I wish I had been more proactively seeking films by female directors.
Laura: Got it.
JJ: I guess it’s a double whammy of, I was not doing that and also the film world didn’t put any of them in my path for me to find when I wasn’t actively seeking them out.
Laura: Last October, I drove through your neighborhood unknowingly and saw a sign that says, “AGNES VARDA FOREVER” What can you tell me about that sign? Specifically, tell me the story of how that came to be.
JJ: It has to do with my son, Nico, who just graduated from college and because we’re stuck in a pandemic and we can’t go anywhere, he came to live with us because he finished college and had no reason to continue to live where he was living in his college town, so he said, “I’ll come and live with you,” and we’re all cooped up inside. So, Nico decided, okay, this is my opportunity to give myself a cinema education. And he watched, on average, more than one movie a day. When he left, he’d been here from May to December and he had watched 175 movies. So, I guess that’s some days, not one everyday, but he watched 175 movies while he was here because he kept count. And I watched a lot of those movies with him and I said, “We gotta watch some Agnes Varda films because I love her, and I want to make sure that I’ve seen at least all the ones that are quote unquote, significant.”
We watched a few and we were both so in love with her and so enamored of everything about her and her work. I said to Nico casually, “I wish more people knew about her.” And he said, “We should just spray paint her name all over town so everybody sees it,” and I said, “Oh yeah, that’s a good idea, but I don’t know, would we really do it?”
Laura: Wasn’t there an expletive somewhere in there?
JJ: Yeah, actually he said we should graffiti “Agnes fucking Varda,” which is, as far as I know, made up by Johnny Fuckin’ Marr. So, I said to him, “Well, let’s take the expletive out just to make it more friendly and not be off-putting to anyone.”
We talked about doing it, but it was very casual in the way that you talk about doing a thousand things that you don’t actually do. I sometimes have insomnia and one day, it was about five o’clock in the morning, and I was awake, and I was thinking I gotta do something. It was super lovely outside and I was like, I’m going to go for a 5:00 AM walk. And then suddenly it just struck me. I said, I know what I should do. It’s dark. Nobody’s going to see me. I’m going to go do that thing I thought I might not ever do. I’m going to go write Agnes Varda and I thought, “Oh, but I don’t want to say Agnes ‘Fucking’ Varda.”
I just grabbed a paint brush and a thing of white paint and I went down to the corner that’s a somewhat well-traveled corner. I decided to put the words at the bottom of a phone pole so that it would be super easy to see from far away. Then I painted the letters as big as I could get away with on the small surface.
Laura: But not in your own street?
JJ: Yeah, it is my street, but it’s two blocks away from my house. It’s not right next to my house, but it’s on my street. It’s on the street that I have to turn onto to come home. So it was a bit of a marker for me.
There used to be a sign for Concordia University, which is also on this same street. And I always knew, Oh, there’s the sign for the university, this is my street. And the university closed, and they took the sign away. This is also a joke I had with Nico. We were in the car together some day, and I said, “You know, we should have something else on this corner as a guidepost that this is where we’re supposed to turn.”
I mean, it’s silly because it’s my own street, of course I know to turn, but I just like having a visual marker for things. That’s why, when I decided to do it, I thought, Oh, I know where to do it. I need to do it down there so that I’ll always know it’s my street! [Laughs!]
Laura: What did you end up painting?
JJ: I wrote “AGNES VARDA FOREVER”.
Laura: Did you premeditate that?
JJ: No, I premeditated it while I was putting my shoes on and getting the paintbrush, you know, it wasn’t exactly in the moment. It was about 10 minutes.
Laura: So, you’re walking to the corner and you know you’re going to write “AGNES VARDA FOREVER”
JJ: I was walking to the corner and I was actually thinking to myself, I wonder if I have enough space at the bottom of this phone pole to write three words with the letters being a good eight or 10 inches tall.
Laura: It’s a good thing you took that sign painting class.
JJ: Yeah, because I did take a sign painting class with the great Lee Littlewood, who I adore. So, I did have some thoughts about how big letters have to be to be read from what distances. Since I wanted people driving down the street to see it, I knew that the letters had to be pretty big.
Laura: That’s what happened when I was driving. I was going to a new friend’s house. I’d never been there before. I knew where you lived because I’ve mailed you things, but I wasn’t putting two and two together because I rely on Google Maps.
JJ: And 27th Street is a long street.
Laura: I’m driving and just like hoping to get there on time. Hoping I don’t miss a turn and I see it and I’m like, Oh God. And I just turn the car around and it’s like in a cartoon where the car can’t get there as fast as I want it to, and I just throw it in park and hop out and because I’m not with anybody, I didn’t know what to do. I was like, how is this even real?
JJ: That’s so great! This dovetails perfectly into my feelings about what I wanted from it. Now I did it partly to just amuse Nico. You know what I mean? I kind of did it for him because he said we should put her name everywhere and so I did it. I had him in mind when I was doing it, but then I thought, oh, but I am making it big so that you can see it from at least a block away because I do want everyone to see it.
Then I thought my greatest dream will just be that people will be walking their dog and say, what is that? Like, I’ve never seen a piece of graffiti like that. That’s specifically why I didn’t do it with spray paint. I have spray paint, but I feel like when you see a piece of graffiti that wasn’t made with a spray can you notice it more because we’ve all become kind of jaded to spray paint. You know what I mean? When it comes to reading a word on a wall somewhere your brain doesn’t even go into it sometimes when it’s in spray paint, because it’s just like every stupid illegible tag is in spray paint. I was conscious of that and chose the paintbrush on purpose because you just don’t see graffiti made with paintbrushes very often.
My dream is that somebody will walk by and say, “What is that?” and want to know and take out their phone and do a Google search for Agnes Varda. That’s all I wanted but then it turned into something so much better when you accidentally saw it! Because I thought, I’ve got to take a picture of this and send it to Laura. And when you saw it, it had only been up there for about a week and it was still my intention, I was just, you know, procrastinating. It was always my intention to take a picture of it and send it to you specifically. That’s why it was particular magic that you found it on your own. That’s just the most fantastically serendipitous thing that’s happened to me.
On that front, Nico recently reminded me that you don’t have to be a person with a website to use Google Trends. You can type anything in there and see how it’s trending, how many people in what parts of the world are looking at different things. I have actually decided that after we put up all these posters that I’m going to look at Agnes Varda analytics to see how many people search for her name now in Portland, Oregon, and see how many people search for her name two or three months from now after these things are all over town. I think that’ll be a fun project. Although it’s not the reason I did it. I just did it hoping that I might pique anyone’s interest in this woman. That was my only goal.<
Laura: Along those lines, I approached you saying I have a hundred dollars for you to continue working on it.
JJ: Which I thought was crazy. That was like the wildest thing anybody ever said to me.
Laura: What did you decide to do?
JJ: When you and I were texting back and forth about it when you made this offer and right before you made the offer, you said, “I really like your thing, and I think you should expand on it.” I thought back to the original conversation that Nico and I had, which was where we should put her name all over town. When you said I should expand on it, I thought, yeah, I should just go out and write the same thing again, all over in other places. You had mentioned stickers, so I thought about that for a little bit.
You also mentioned that you particularly liked the actual writing of it. So, to just type it out or whatever would not have the same effect. You helped me understand that that was for sure. And I thought, Stickers, like how would that work? Slap-tagging “AGNES VARDA FOREVER”? Not a bad idea, but I thought again, people don’t look at those things because they’re so ubiquitous, nobody gives a shit. Nobody’s really looking at the back of the stop sign with 25 stickers on it.
Then it just came to me. I had the brainwave that because of the pandemic, all of the phone poles in Portland, which are usually covered with posters advertising events, there are none; they’re literally bereft completely of posters. So, I thought, That’s it, it’d be like an Agnes gig poster. That’s why my first idea was to say, “now showing” because I knew that would make people look at it because nothing is “now showing!” It was going to say, “now showing” and then in smaller print, “…in your own living room anytime you want.”
I just wanted anybody to Google her, who didn’t already know her and that would be enough for me. But then when I thought, Oh, if I make it like a “now showing” thing, maybe I could get even just one person to actually watch one of her films, which would be super better.
After talking to you and we were brainstorming together, then we came up with the idea (I feel like we came up with it together) to put the names of movies and then to make them pull tags so that people remember, because I, of course like so many people, I’m sure, go out into the world, see things, and go, “Ooh, when I get home, I’m going to look that up” and then I forget. But to have a little piece of paper in your pocket or your wallet, or in your car or whatever, does three things. For one, it gives the person a particular film to watch because each tag has a different name of a film. One of those titles is going to resonate with someone and make them pick whatever one seems like something they might already be interested in. This is better than just saying, “Go watch a movie of hers.”
It’s also good because if somebody has a physical thing with them later, it will be a reminder and it will help them maybe be more successful in the goal of getting someone to watch something or even Google her.
But then the third really great thing about it is that your focus is art and social practice. And there’s something about a stranger taking a little piece of something with them that makes it more of a social practice. That just seems like a little bit magical to me and I love everything about that idea.
Laura: Yeah, that ripple. Like the ripple in a pool that you’re not watching. You can’t be like, Oh, that one that went to that person and that person. It’s like letting go and believing someone’s going to do something with it like in 10 years; they don’t even have to use it right away.
JJ: Which has long been my jam and that kind of ties into the way that I met you, which is mail art, which has a similar sort of feeling. I mean, it is for an audience of one; you are sending it to a single person. But when you create a piece of artwork, especially if it’s odd, if it’s three-dimensional or it’s a funny shape, or it’s got crazy textures on it and you stick a stamp on it and you put it in a mailbox, you can’t really know that it’s going to get there or that it’s going to arrive the way you intended it to arrive, but that’s part of what’s great about it.
That’s a little bit like this project. We’re going to put it out there and I don’t know what’s going to happen with it. It’s a lot different than if I was doing a dance performance and I invited people and they saw me, then it was over and then we all shared the same experience. What I love about this is that I’m hopefully generating something that, as a result, is going to have, who knows what experience, in the future. That’s what I really like about it. I don’t need to know what people do with it. I just like knowing that something might happen with it, that’s enough for me.
Laura: Like the art of possibility.
JJ: Exactly. That’s what turns me on.
Laura: That brings up something important to note, which is that there’s no contact information on the poster.
JJ: Oh yes and that’s on purpose because after you and I looked at the final design, it occurred to me that usually these things have a URL or a hashtag or something. And I was like, No, this is so great that it doesn’t have any of that because, frankly, everything about it is unusual, everything about this project is not anything I’ve seen before. So, this is just another part of it.
I hate to say this because I do like Instagram, but don’t you sort of feel like people just do a project and hashtag the hell out of it for some edification of their own? So that they can say, Oh, 4,000 people looked at it. I don’t care if 4,000 people look at it. I don’t personally need to know that 4,000 people looked at it.
Laura: I think that’s part of it because you did make 550 copies.
JJ: I did, and I have a hope that all those little tags will be pulled, and people will go watch a movie. Of course, that’s what I would love to have happen, but I don’t want to have to worry about it later.
Laura: I think there’s another element, too, is that when there’s an Instagram handle or hashtag, then it becomes about consuming more of it. If it were me and I wasn’t associated with this project, I would immediately go to your Instagram page, out of curiosity, to see what else you’ve done.
JJ: Oh, sure. Yeah.
Laura: But this is not about that. It’s not about me knowing you.
JJ: I don’t want any attention about it. I want Agnes Varda to get all the attention. The goal is for people to see this woman who I think is under-seen, that’s all I care about.
Laura: When I walked out of my apartment building and saw the poster that you hung up outside the front door, I loved the experience of thinking, “Who put that there?”
JJ: That’s the other thing that I did think about when I was thinking it’s good that it doesn’t have any contact information on it. You know, the Futel (2) telephone kind of reminds me of the same thing. You don’t know who put that phone there and it doesn’t matter, it’s not the point. I’m more invested in people imagining who put it there.
I feel like with the internet and everyone having a computer in their pocket at all times, there’s no more mystery. Everybody knows everything and everybody wants everyone looking at them. This is one thing I like about this project—that it’s not about me or you. That doesn’t mean I don’t want you to put it on Instagram. But I don’t care if my name is attached to it. It’s just because it spreads the message further. That’s all I really am interested about.
Laura: For some reason that’s making me think of her movie Daguerreotypes. You’ve seen that?
JJ: Oh yeah. In fact, it was after that film, that Nico and I had this conversation, that she is so great.
Laura: What aspect of Daguerreotypes led to it? Because there are a lot of things that could lead to it.
JJ: That’s a good question. It must’ve had to do with the connectedness to your immediate environment. You don’t need to travel to another country to notice interesting people, just go out your door and look at who your neighbors are.
If you really, really see them, like she is really seeing deeply the subjects of that movie, then it’s fascinating because most people are pretty fascinating. If you really pay attention to them and you really learn anything about their story. That’s probably what Nico and I were talking about when the film was over and saying, “Wouldn’t it be great if more people thought that way, if more people approached their immediate surroundings with the love and deep noticing that Agnes does?”
One thing I love about Agnes’ movies is that even her very first movie, La Pointe Courte, is about this couple and they’re at the beach and they are professional actors, but all the other people in the movie are just the people in that town. Every once in a while, the camera just really lingers on them. And that was her very first film. Then her next film was Cléo From 5 to 7, which has a ton of shots of the people who are on Paris streets and what they’re doing. They’re all real people. A lot of them, you see, notice the camera and look at it like, “What the heck is that about?”
This is one of the things that I love about her—that some of her films are straight documentaries, but even her films that are not, all have a bit of a documentary feel to them. And I did hear her say in an interview once that she just loves everyday people and that that’s who she is working for, you know, that’s who she notices and that’s who she cares about and who she’d like to connect to. It really shows when you see one of her movies, doesn’t it? Like you can feel her compassion and interest in every passing stranger. That resonates with me because as I told you before, I love strangers.
Laura: We definitely connected over that. It’s almost like a hobby.
Laura: That insatiable curiosity.
JJ: Oh, absolutely. I think a lot of people love people watching. I love people watching, but I love even more to then stop watching and actually interact with some of them.
Laura: It’s like, tell me one mundane thing you did today, and we could talk for hours, right? The more mundane the better.
JJ: Yeah, I agree. Totally.
Laura: Did you have enough money to do what you wanted to do?
JJ: I was talking with someone about what I could do with $100 and they said, “Well, maybe you could do it for free and you could just keep the money.” And I was like, what? It didn’t even occur to me to have the money as money for me to have. I was like, how many things can I make with $100? Especially because this particular project is about spreading the word and blanketing the town, which is kind of my dream. I don’t know if I’ll have the stamina to do it, but that was the idea.
I definitely spent all the money on copies and paper. The money is gone already. Well, now I have $5, I guess, because I spent $5 on the paper, which was a bargain and I was very excited to find it. And then when Mykle (3) said he was going to print them at the Independent Publishing Resource Center, I said, “Well, how much does it cost per copy?”
He said, I don’t actually know, but I think it’s comparable to a photocopy. So, I said, “Okay, why don’t you make as many as you can make for $90, because I might have to spend five more dollars on staples and tape and that way it’ll be a perfect hundred dollars.” I was astonished, honestly, when he came back and I said, “How many is it?” And he said, “550.” I didn’t think it would be that many. But I’m not at all sad about it. Oh no, I’m really excited about it. Now we have the idea of sending some to your friends in other cities. Then Nico asked me to send him five or six and he’s going to put them in a small town in Nevada, which is really great.
My friend who lives in Enterprise, Oregon, I have a plan to go visit her and I told her about this project and the first thing she said was, “Oh, can we do it in Enterprise?” I was like, absolutely. I wouldn’t be surprised if after a while 550 is not enough.
Laura: When you look at the finished posters that you have, how are you feeling about the transferring of your original painting to a poster?
JJ: When you first presented the idea, I was like, No, that’s terrible because I’m not particularly proud of the lettering, as a person who cares about lettering and an amateur calligrapher. And like I said, I took the sign painting class and I painted some signs and tried to make them look “nice.” But when I did the Agnes Varda sign, I just wanted it to be big and it was in the dark so I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see very well what I was doing when I did it. The surface that I painted it on is uneven, so the letters look wobbly because that thing has grooves in it.
As a letterer, I’m not at all proud of it, it’s not nice lettering. But it is eye catching! Mostly because it’s white on black, frankly. And because it’s not with the spray can and when you said that you thought the project should have my own handwriting on it I did kind of see some logic in that.
When you first said that idea, I was like, Oh no, no, no, nah, no, because I liked this kind of gig poster idea that I initially came up with. But then after you sent it to me and I looked at it, I thought, Oh, that is going to look pretty good. I mean, that is going to be pretty great.
It’s unusual looking because it’s not made on a computer or perfectly lettered; it is odd or different, which serves the purpose of making people look closer at it. Right?
JJ: Once I put it up on a pole, then I was even way more delighted when I stood back and looked at it from afar. That’s when I realized that it was actually perfect, and your idea was totally spot on. Yeah, it really looked good on a pole.
Laura: I’m so glad it translates because your letters on that pole are probably six inches high.
JJ: Bigger, I think eight or nine. Actually, they get smaller because I got down to “FOREVER” and it’s harder to fit. I had to make them smaller.
Laura: I tried to execute your original design and concept and I was struggling; I really wanted to make your vision.
JJ: Well, I’m so glad you didn’t. And I really wanted to tell you that part of what I loved about the way it was written was it reminds me of one of my other most favorite artists, Sister Corita.
Laura: In what way?
JJ: Sister Corita’s prints…one of the things that I always think about when I look at them is, how did she do that? How did she print these letters that look like they’re moving? Or like they’re on an uneven surface when really, she was just screenprinting.
In this project with you and me… when I saw it and it made me think of Sister Corita, of course, I was just even more delighted. Now it’s been done in these crazy bright pop art kinds of colors. I mean, the whole thing is so good. That was an unexpected delight that I wasn’t planning on, I didn’t notice it until I saw the finished product and that made me more proud of it. And more sure that I did the right thing in listening to you.
Laura: I appreciate you saying listening to me, but I think it was a real collaboration.
JJ: So do I.
Laura: When I sent it to you via text, I was like, it’s totally okay if JJ says she doesn’t like it. Whereas there are some people I might not be as okay. But I feel like in working with you on projects, there’s something about the kind of admiration and respect we have for each other that when you tell me what you really think it does not hurt my feelings.
JJ: Oh, I’m so glad that I’ve taken that as a compliment. That’s good.
Laura: In friendships where we’re developing, being able to be genuine feels even better than getting compliments and being like, Oh, everything you do is gold. I really like when you’re like, “Actually I don’t think I like that.”
Laura: And I’m like, “Oh cool. Now we can talk about what you think instead of saying it’s done.”
JJ: Yeah. You’re right. So much more interesting. Yeah. Oh, that’s great. I’m glad I remembered to tell you about my Sister Corita realization because it’s important.
Laura: I think in the back of my mind, I recognized it but I couldn’t figure out from where.
Laura: I was like, “Why do I know this?”
JJ: It had to do with the bendy letters, right?
Laura: Yeah. I couldn’t put my finger on that.
JJ: I think that’s it. I wouldn’t have thought about it until after I’d seen it. Of course, I noticed that it had the wrap-around look when you sent me the proof, but it wasn’t until it was printed and I was looking at it in hot pink ink on yellow paper, then it all came together and I went, Oh, wow, this is even better. Because now at least for me personally, it won’t be for everyone on the street, now it’s referencing two great female artists.
Laura: What do you think about the drawing of her? Could it have been just as effective without the drawing of her?
JJ: Yes, because it’s all about her name. Although I originally wanted to have a picture of her in it because I don’t think people know how cute she is and her fantastic hairdo, which would make anybody want to know more about her. But I have a future project in mind that has a picture of her face. That’s my next postering project. We can talk about that later. But because of that, I thought it was great that it had a little picture of her because it might help to pique interest.
Laura: That’s what I was thinking too. I definitely like it with the picture. And there’s a part of me that’s nervous that somehow the person who drew the picture will be like, I didn’t give you permission to use the picture. But I did put the credit.
JJ: Because you didn’t actually ask him if you could do it?
Laura: No, no, but we are non-profit.
JJ: I’m not selling anything.
Laura: So I think we’re okay. But I was really tempted to be like, maybe we don’t need this, but to a casual passer-by having a figure and a face on a poster, it really invites you into the thing. Am I on the right track with that?
JJ: Yeah, I think so. I like the little image.
(1) JR is the pseudonym of a French photographer, filmmaker, and street artist whose identity is unconfirmed. He co-directed Faces Places with Agnes Varda.
(2) Free phone service in Portland, Oregon. For more information visit futel.net.
(3) JJ’s next door neighbor of 22 years, with whose family she shares a backyard, chickens, and a shed.
Jennifer Jones (she/her) is a mail artist, gardener, cinephile and an art school dropout. Having decided in the 90’s that the best art galleries are the street and the mailbox, she devoted her practice to engaging with strangers. Believing that encountering curious bits of art and one-way communications in the wild are two of life’s most magic moments, she aims to leave a trail of fun in her wake. Jennifer is a lifelong member of the Eternal Network, the Portland Correspondence Co-op, and curates the Bikeshed Film Festival in conjunction with Mother Foulcault’s Bookshop in Portland, Oregon.
Laura Glazer (she/her) is a first-year student in the Art and Social Practice Master of Fine Arts program at Portland State University. She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography and lives in Portland, Oregon. An avid letter writer, she is a member of the Portland Correspondence Coop and creates artwork at the intersections of photography, design, publishing, and curation.lauraglazer.com
The Social Forms of Art (SoFA) Journal is a publication dedicated to supporting, documenting and contextualising social forms of art and its related fields and disciplines. Each issue of the Journal takes an eclectic look at the ways in which artists are engaging with communities, institutions and the public. The Journal supports and discusses projects that offer critique, commentary and context for a field that is active and expanding.
Created within the Portland State University Art & Social Practice Masters In Fine Arts. Program, SoFA Journal is now fully online.
Conversations on Everything is an expanding collection of interviews produced as part of SoFA Journal. Through the potent format of casual interviews as artistic research, insight is harvested from artists, curators, people of other fields and everyday humans. These conversations study social forms of art as a field that lives between and within both art and life.
Sponsored by the Portland State University Art and Social Practice MFA Program