Bruce Jackson (b. 1936), Sliderules, 1974; photograph; Courtesy of the artist

Bruce Jackson Being There: Sliderules

Friday, May 10, 2013

Throughout the run of Being There: Bruce Jackson Photographs 1962-2010, the artist is sharing some of the stories behind his photographs.Being There is on view until June 16, 2013. The catalog accompanying the exhibition is available at The Museum Store at the Burchfield Penney.


This was in Cummins, the Arkansas Penitentiary, in 1974. Every time I saw this man he was wearing several layers of clothing (whatever the season) and had in his field jacket pockets notebooks, pens, and a small log-log-duuplex slide rule, a device that no longer exists in the computer age but which was hugely important back in the analog days. He had it with him in the barracks and in the showers. He was never without it, nor was he without his harmonica. The harmonica I could understand, but not the slide rule. So I asked him why he always had that small log-log duplex slide rule in his field jacket pocket. He looked t me as if I were a moron "Without this," he said "how could I design helicopters?"

-Bruce Jackson