The artist book "Flying" is in the Getty Research Collection.
Between 1994 and 2001 I took over 200 pictures of myself when on board an airplane. I used a point-and-shoot camera with an interval timer set to 30 minutes. The length of time enabled me to forget about the camera and I was generally unaware of when I was photographed. The camera was pinned to the seat in front of me therefore the project only worked if the person did not tilt his/her seat back.
I genuinely believed that my face morphed and changed shape during flight and I wanted to capture that - hence the photographs had to be taken when I was not expecting them. What they did capture was my intense discomfort about flying. I put them in groups of three to echo the sets of three seats on budget airlines.
I stopped taking as many photographs when the space between the rows of seats became too narrow for the camera to focus. And then September 11 happened, and I would have felt uncomfortable continuing this project. Prior to that - over a period of circa 25 flights only once did a gentleman ask me what I was doing and that was as we disembarked.
The Flying Book is shaped like an airline ticket booklet (remember those) and contains images from 10 flights with the images laid out to reflect the 3 seats on an airplane. Text on the first page reads: When the 'plane takes off - the muscles in my cheeks begin to rise up to my eyeballs causing my eyes to close - my head to roll back -- and I am only able to breathe by pressing my stomach with both hands. Below are a couple of pages from the Flying Project Book:
1994 - 2001