Several people have asked why I haven’t used any photographs of T-Roe on this blog (although there are several pixalated photos in the above banner).

I’ve thought much about it: whether or not he’d want it, how it could be read, how/if it would further the project.  And I realize that posting photos of my brother here can be read as using his image as a material. It isn’t my wish for him to be seen merely as a guy in prison with this tough face and strange uniform, not to mention the longevity of images released on the web. He will get out one day and, hopefully, he won’t be someone serving time any more. In a way using his image would put a sort of end to curiosity. The viewer would know what he looks like, might make certain conclusions about his personality, past experiences, convictions, dreams. And maybe, in turn, that would somehow influence me, and I’d really prefer to keep an open mind.


Some excellent questions from a dear friend were made in the comments under the tattoo gun posts. I thought it would be a good idea to make them an actual post.

Sophie: “Who, where, and what will be the tattoo?”

Holly:  “Hi Sophie!
My original idea was to perfectly imitate the tattoo-gun-making method as T-Roe describes it to me in his letters. As I started to make the first gun, I realized how fragmented and incomplete T-Roe’s instructions are and how much information I could not get from him, just through writing. We cannot speak on the phone, since I am in Brazil now.
I also realized that by interpreting his instructions, rather than just imitating them, I would come to understand the activity more completely. Right now, it’s my intention to make several versions of the tattoo gun, perfecting my understanding of it each time. I’m almost done with second one!
At this point I am focused on making the guns and still deliberating on what image I will make with them. I think it would be interesting to tattoo not someone, but something, but of course, it has to make sense within the context of the collaboration.
Thanks for your comments!”

Sophie: “Do you have a photo of T-Roe’s tattoo? Drawing?”

Holly: “I don’t have a photo of his tattoo. That could be interesting for illustrating on this blog what the gun can do. I could also tattoo his tattoo on something, couldn’t I?”