Intimate Dance Duet
(cross-posted on Body Impolitic)
These were taken at my daughter choreographer Cid Pearlman's environmental dance performance Economies of Effort 3.

The photographs I posted previously in Dance, Light and Shadows were abstractions about movement, light and shadow. The dancers were part of the composition.

This sequence of photos are about the intimate relationship between the dancers, and between the dancers and the audience. The dancers are Cynthia Strauss and Sara Wilbourne.

1 sara duet final crop_0895
2 sara duet final crop_0897
3 sara duet final crop_0899

Making these sequential photographs is something new for me. I always work with the relationship between my images. These particular images are revealed (sometimes only in part) as you scroll down. This can only happen on a screen and creates a different relationship between the viewer and the photo.

Victoria Stone Pendant
(crossposted as laurieopal on dreamwidth)

I've been working on some very different bronze pendant designs...hope to have them for Wiscon.

And I've been gloating over some leopard skin jasper and rough piece of clear Ethiopian opal that lights up the sky. (Metaphor works for me.)

The pendant is Victoria stone. (And even more beautiful then the photo.) Victoria stone was created by Dr. S. Iimori in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. He was trying to make synthetic jade. It actually resembles leaded glass. It's is extremely beautiful and can vary greatly in color..

When he died he left the formula to his son but a significant detail was missing and no one has been able to replicate it. So all there is in the world in the material he made almost 50 years ago.

I wanted a beautiful design the complemented the shape, and would reflect some of the qualities of the stone.

Design is sterling silver about 1.5" high.  From the collection of Sheila Gilbert

My Photos in "The Cat Show in Budapest"
(crossposted on Body Impolitic)

The PH21 Gallery in Budapest currently has a show The Cat Show ( a juried international photography exhibition ) that includes 2 my nudes from my book Familiar Men. It runs from from April 14 to May 3. I was really charmed by the idea of a serious exhibition of images of cats.

My photo of Karl Michalak and Emory is the juror's honorable mention. (You really need to click on this photograph.)

Karl Michalak with Emory

And my photograph of Tommi Avicolli Mecca with Pippina and Peaches is in the show as well.

Tommi Avicolli Mecca with Peppina and Peaches..

From Zolt Batori, director at Ph21:

“The cat does not offer services. The cat offers itself.”
― William S. Burroughs: The Cat Inside

Some may think that snapshots of cats are only for the fleeting moment, that photographs of cute kitties and lone predators are only taken to bring a quick but passing smile to the face of the viewer. Others may cherish the photos of their pets for sentimental reasons but may not think that those images are of any interest to others. And then there is an army of feline devotees out there who flood every possible outlet with an overwhelming amount of cat photos and videos. Cats rule. So much so that sometimes the sheer quantity of feline imagery may make us forget what lies at the heart of this obsession: the quality that the cat offers by offering itself. The history of photography, however, teaches us that even the greatest masters considered cats a worthy subject for their camera. Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, André Kertész and Edward Weston, just to name a few of them, all had captivating photos of cats. The bar is set high, and contemporary photographers have been keeping the trend alive ever since, exploring new directions and new possibilities in the process.

These are two photographs in The Cat Show that I especially like.


Of Small Things No. 2 - Catherine Tsakona, Triel sur Seine, France


Le Chat Noir - Ekin Küçük, Istanbul, Turkey


The photos in the exhibition are varied in choice and composition and some are quite brilliant. Very well worth seeing.

Glorious Octopus Earrings
These earrings are designed to be the poisonous Blue Ringed Octopus from Australia. I always love making something that is both beautiful and dangerous.

The stones are emeralds and even more beautiful then they look in the photo.

They are sterling silver and emeralds (obviously) with black pearls. Length is about 2". From the collection of Bayla Fine.

I just had cast two designs in gold and they came out beautifully. After all the work the waxes take I always hold my breath a bit until they are cast successfully.

I'm working on some new designs in bronze, very different from much of my work, that I'm hoping to have finished for Wiscon.

Think I'll go back to work now.

Dancers, Shadows and Light
(crossposted on Body Impolitic)

I took these photos at the last night of my daughter Cid’s show Economies of Effort in San Francisco. Show was amazing.

They’re not about documenting the dance. Her Facebook page has lots of photos and videos by folks who were there. They are the compositions and images that work for me as an artist.

I saw the show several times, So on the last night, when I saw the dancers with the light and shadows on the balcony I felt like I could get involved in taking photos. It’s a very intense and different head space than being involved in a performance. And, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve been using my iPhone for some photography.

I’ve created aesthetic sequences for them. The order is not necessarily that of the actual dance but what felt right to me. (Because I couldn't choose the perfect spot to shoot from, the photos are cropped, but there is no other modification or photoshopping.)
1 economy siim 0890-1
2 economy siim & g_0876
3 economy siim & g _0877
4 economy siim 1 _0886

1 economy 2g1_0883
2 economy 2g2_0881
3 economy 2g4_0879
4 economy 2g3_0880
5 economy 2g_0887

Dancers are Simon Tea, Collette Kollewe, Julia Daniel. Juliet Ulibarri, and Juliet Paramo.

Taking iPhone photos is expanding the kind of work I do. I'm still working on very long term projects - presently Memory Landscapes, but I also am making the occasional individual works like these.

Colla Wood Pendant and New Carvings
I'm working on some new carvings in wax including a gorgeous slightly recut large opal tear drop and a ring with small rubies and diamonds. It feels really good to be settled into carving.

Thinking about the new guest of honor design for Wiscon.

Photo is of a Turkish colla wood pendant in sterling silver about 2.5" high. The stone is unusual in it's coloration and superb quality.

From the collection of David and Pierce Ludke

Crystal Dragon
Realized that I had 2 "I'm Back" posts in a row.

So, I went to Boskone in late February, was home for a week and then went to Hawaii for an excellent vacation including seeing many beautiful reef fish. I think that reef fish will be showing up in my work. Anyway I'm in my studio making work and not going anywhere til Wiscon at the end of May. I should be posting regularly and I have more photos then usual to put up.

My head is full of designs, making me very happy.

This is a crystal dragon pendant that I made for Lois Thomas. The dragon head crystal and the idea for it to be the dragon's head were hers. It turned out to be very design challenging and I love the way it turned out.

Sterling silver. About 3" high. William Thomas took this excellent photo of the pendant.

I'm Back and Cid's Amazing Dance
I'm back in the world after a marvelous vacation, some under the weather, followed by intense catching up.  I should be posting here regularly again.

Right now I want to talk about  Economies of Effort 3 -  my daughter Cid's amazing new show.

I just wrote about it on Body Impolitic
My daughter, the choreographer Cid Pearlman, has a show Economies of Effort: 3 that has finished its Santa Cruz run, and will be in San Francisco at the Joe Goode Annex April 8th and 9th. I saw it in Santa Cruz last weekend. It's amazing. I've been watching her work since the beginning and the show and the intimate relationship with the audience knocked me out. This KQED review by Carla Escoda tells it all!


The show is part of her Year of Free, but you need to make reservations. Tickets are limited.

“Drink wine. Eat soup. Ask questions.” These are choreographer Cid Pearlman’s instructions to the audience before curtain at Economies of Effort: 3. These words are far from the soothing “silence your cellphones and locate the nearest emergency exit” that we’ve come to expect at the kickoff of a dance performance, and serve to set the tone for the entertaining and provocative experience that is to come.

The initial two-weekend-long run of the production at Felix Kulpa Gallery in Santa Cruz (the company moves to the Joe Goode Annex, San Francisco, in April) takes place in a courtyard bristling with fanciful fountains and sculptures made of found objects. The backdrop includes, among other objects, half-melted vintage Apple computers, a phone booth that looks suspiciously like the scene of a crime, and a PG&E utility pole resting at a graceful angle against the gallery fence. Much of the hardware is the handiwork of Robbie Schoen, sculptor, gallery director, and Cid Pearlman accomplice on this and other projects. The area is also strewn about with plywood boxes constructed by the dancers themselves in Economies of Effort:1, an earlier incarnation of this performance series.

At the top of the show, Pearlman’s company of 15 dancers disperses to various corners of the sculpture garden and gallery to engage each other in mysterious and intriguing rituals. Between outbursts of dance, they take turns chopping vegetables and stirring the soup in a stockpot simmering on a burner in the garden.

The audience is invited to wander.

In one spot, dancers haul each other up to kiss the bright light at the top of a sagging street lamp. In another, a sextet of women repeatedly slams into a gallery wall, exploring it, scaling it, attacking it in impressive unison. Elsewhere, a quartet nuzzles and nudges a woman on top of a card table. At first the action seems playful. But when the group starts sloshing a basin of water over the woman’s head, thoughts of waterboarding come to mind.

In this whimsical playground, the interactions, though mostly lighthearted and droll, often seem deliberately ambiguous. Inside a plywood box, a pair of dancers clamber acrobatically around each other, and over and around a pair of chairs. A sliver of artificial turf lying outside the box, like a welcome mat or a hint of lawn, suggests that this modest space is their home. Their fun-loving maneuvers morph into something more serious: a commentary on the Bay Area housing crisis.

The most searing sequence is a stylized wrestling match involving three men and a woman, who grapple barefoot inside the tight confines of an area inside the gallery painted checkerboard black and white. The dancers move to the haunting sounds of electric violin and cello emanating from a nearby laptop.
Economies of Effort is a title that suggests hard times and hard work. But for the audience (limited to 35 in each run) the performance feels luxurious. Watching these distinctive dancers at such close quarters, at whatever angles we choose, with the liberty to come and go and share our thoughts with others as we please, is a rare pleasure. We know the show is over when the dancers take their bows in an eerie light thrown off by the steam rising from the stockpot and the murmur of “soup’s ready” ripples through the crowd.

Economies of Effort: 3 ran in Santa Cruz in March and now migrates to the Joe Goode Annex in San Francisco from Apr. 8 – 9. Admission is free, part of Cid Pearlman’s “Year of Free."
For reservations go to

Memory Landscape Panel at Wiscon
I’m going on a much needed vacation on Saturday (Bless my cat sitter.) and since the deadline on Wiscon programming is the 18th, I wanted to get this up before I left. Lots of photos of new work when I get back

I’m excited about having my Memory Landscape panel at Wiscon in May.  The comments and conversation with the audience and the panel members there has been inspiring for the work in progress and has really affected it’s development.

I’ve developed Memory Landscapes further and added some new elements that I anxious to hear folks thoughts on. I think the panel description says it:

“Photographer Laurie Toby Edison's work-in-progress is “Memory Landscapes", a feminist visual memoir, to be implemented as an iPad art app. Memory is a form of time travel through your own time line. A visual memoir takes you into the artist's time line and lets you choose your paths through their lives. Memories are filtered, by who we are now, who we were then, and what has happened in between. We view our past through layers of memories, and the past is everything that happened except this moment. The panel will look at some of Laurie’s work in progress, and discuss the ways panelists and the audience re-engage with memories of their own lives. Laurie needs people's insights and experiences with memory to inform and inspire her work.”

On the wiscon programming site please check “I  would like to attend this panel.” (You need to log in.)

My Daughter: Economies of Effort: 3/Cid Pearlman and the Year of Free
I'm back from Boskone and taking some down time. Got some fascinating commissions including a Daliesque Fordite. I'll write more about it later.

But right now, Deb and I posted on Body Impolitic about my daughter choreographer Cid Pearlman's "Year of Free Dance" and her Indiegogo fundraiserher and I wanted to share it here as well.

six dancers rehearse Economies of Effort 3

We've written before about Laurie's daughter, Cid Pearlman, who is a choreographer in Santa Cruz, California. Right now, she's putting together the third part of her "Economies of Effort" triptych, for performance in Santa Cruz and San Francisco, and she's raising money here. (She has just a week left to raise the funding she needs.)

This isn't an everyday (or every year) dance company fundraiser. This is Cid's "Year of Free." Every 2016 performance: in San Francisco, in Santa Cruz, whether it's "Economies of Effort" or her annual "Looking Left" festival of dance and performance, will have no admission charge.

Why a year of free?

Our goal is to reach out to folks who can’t afford to participate in dance/art experiences, or who don't feel able to take the financial risk of buying a ticket. In fact, all performances we produce in 2016 will be free to audiences.

It's more than that. The "Economies of Effort" triptych is about making and building, about "the idea that we derive power and agency from making things." The events are not just free admission, but also free form. If you attend, you are not just an audience member: you move through the space "choosing your own path and creating your own narrative."


The "year of free" is deeply exciting to us, because it represents Cid choosing her own path, creating her own narrative, not just through the dance world, not just through choreography and built environments, but through the social conversation about income inequality, about value, about what we care about, what we pay for, what we appreciate.

If you are at all interested in cutting-edge dance, you will be delighted with Cid's work for the choreography ("intelligent, sensual" says the San Francisco Bay Guardian), the dancing ("big-boned, unself-conscious and full of personality" says the San Francisco Chronicle). And you should see "Economies of Effort" for the integration of the art, design and installations by Robbie Schoen.

If you are able to contribute, you will be helping her not just to make dance, or to make interactive dance/art installations, but to affect the conversation about what it means for something to be free.


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