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Journal with lines and words

Beth Campbell’s My Potential Future Based on Present Circumstances, 6/29/03. Photo © Esopus Foundation Ltd

Beth Campbell
Esopus 1 (Fall 2003)

"This is from the first issue; it was the first thing in the issue. Beth Campbell is an amazing artist based here in Brooklyn who has since gone on to do wonderful projects, sculpture, installations, everything else. At the time when I came across her work, [she was doing] these series of drawings called “My Potential Future Based on Present Circumstances.” She’d start with the decision that she made, and then she would literally play out all or as many possible scenarios as she could on what could happen based on that one decision.

For this, her decision was “I’m going to do a project for this new art magazine, Esopus.” She ends up being a superstar, or she ends up being destitute because the magazine fails and we never speak to each other again. It’s this great documenting of a very anxious creative mind which I really appreciate. It was such a great way to open the issue and the life of the magazine because [starting Esopus] really was a decision to do something with very little idea of what was going to come from it. There were no magazines to say this is what it’s going to look like. Or so this is what our audience is. It was brand new. And I just loved the whole approach to this. And it folds out, like ten panels. So it’s a really beautiful object as well."