Jennifer Booher Statement: I'm doing rough mockups of handmade books playing with the trope of the naturalist’s field guide, based on my actual notes from studying the shoreline, but including my personal life in the observations. The working title is The Insatiably Curious Beachcomber. In my experience, everyone working on the coast of Maine - artists & scientists & hybrids like me – does it because we like poking under rocks and climbing mountains and looking at bones, and because we are curious and tactile and willing to get dirty and cold. Scientists don’t usually talk about things like curiosity and glee, so I’m experimenting with my in-between status, mashing up artwork with field notes and autobiography.
The notes include normal field notes like date, latitude, longitude, air temp, wind direction, and species, but also my mood and things like the hellish swarms of black flies that got in my hair and my nose and bit anything they could reach, even my fingertips. The running timeline at the bottom notes things like sea surface temperature, my shoulder surgery, NOAA's report on climate change, and my daughter's high school graduation. Some friends commented that I should squash a black fly on the page, so for the first time in my life I'm kind of looking forward to black fly season… .