Statue based on Leonardo da Vinci’s famous concept for artificial wings.
135 cards originally sold in randomly sorted packs of ten, 3.5” x 2.5”
“The project satirized the phenomenon of the fine art photography community being consumed by the larger art world and commercial culture. I photographed photographers as if they were baseball players and produced a set of cards that were packaged in random groups of ten, with bubble gum, so that the only way of collecting a complete set was to make a trade. I travelled around the United States visiting about 150 photographic “personalities” and had them pose for me. I carried baseball paraphernalia: caps, gloves, balls, a mask and chest protector, a bat, as well as photographic equipment, and made a 14,000 mile odyssey. Out of this experience came 134 Baseball-Photographer images. I designed a reverse side for the card which would allow for each photographer to fill in their own personal data that in a way referred to the information usually included on real baseball cards: Favorite camera, favorite developer, favorite film, height, weight, etc. I used whatever information each photographer provided me. In a sense, each of their responses provides an insight about how they each approached their participation. I had 3,000 cards made of each one: 402,000 cards plus 6,000 checklists. The cards were packaged in polyethylene bags, with bubble gum, in random groups of ten. I sold cartons of 36 packs to museums and galleries all over the country. I received press attention from Newsweek, Sports Illustrated, Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle, and all the major print media. Thus, the cards were a media event even though they were intended to satirize the media’s impacts.” - Mike Mandel
“Events like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”
In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.