In my studio

Loire Novak : installation mock up in my studio

16 years of NY Times Front Page Sections categorized by content of the photo above the fold. Arranged chronically and then photographed, images in stacks play as slideshows. Twelve categories playing here: Men with Guns, Dead Bodies, Memorials, 911, Grieving, Domestic Protest, International Protest, Celebrations, Weather, Rescue, Refugees and Immigrants, and Photos of Photos

Seeing Red

Lorie Novak - Migraine RegisterA bad week of migraines. I recently joined the Chronic Migraine Awareness Facebook Page, which I find painful to read so don’t visit often. I glanced at it today and saw several posts about the inability to read. My decrease in reading books is a fact that I have had a hard time admitting to. Only in the last year have I realized that it is due to my migraines. I left the Facebook quickly but am posting this admission.

Photo on 3-21-15 at 7.17 AM #5

2014 – My Year in Review

120 migraines that I photographed (I know I didn’t photograph them all)

Medication costs – $19, 353. (only $127. was non-migraine related)
I paid $860. (I would have no life without good health insurance.)

2014 migraines

I started photographing myself every time I have a migraine in May 2009 as a way to keep track of how  many migraines I had. I used to count the number between doctor visits, but this was the first time I actually counted how many I had in a year. I am sure that I was afraid to see the enormity, which, not surprisingly, is staggering. draws from these 5.5 years of photos, and now I know that it contains less than a year’s worth

more migraine posts

Positive Visions – December 1 Day With(out) Art

DayWithoutArt_Logo_500_500Day Without Art began on December 1st 1989 as a national day of action and mourning in response to the AIDS crisis… In 1998, Visual AIDS suggested Day With(out) Art become a day WITH art, and change the name to Day With(out) Art, to recognize and promote increased programming of cultural events that draw attention to the continuing pandemic. [read more at Visual Aids]

In 1996, I launched Positive Visions, a special section of my Collected Visions web project for Day Without Art 1996 with photographs and stories by and about people living with HIV/AIDS, who have died of AIDS, or who are caretakers of people with HIV/AIDS. The Web was young but was already a site of activism. I remember contacting Creative Time who used to coordinate the online DWA activities. It was very exciting to be able to connect online with people I did not know and be part of something bigger.


In 1997, I collaborated with young people at the Hetrick-Martin Institute, not-for-profit agency serving gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth in New York City, to create an online gallery. Each year I would try to collect more stories, but it became increasingly hard to get the word out and there were increasing number of projects dealing with stories around the AIDS pandemic, so I stopped collecting stories for Positive Visions in 2001.

Today I search  #DayWithoutArt #WorldAidsDay

activists warn policies causing same fear from early

More history and perspective at Art 21 in conjunction with Visual Aids: 1989-What We Lost by Jim Hubbard.


Matisse & Me

I went to MOMA today to see the Henri Matisse Cut-Outs exhibition. I was so inspired and amazed at their power. I kept looking at the shapes and thinking that so many looked like migraine auras. I did a quick web search and yes, he had them. Saw references cited in two books. Have to find out more of course, but led me to make this.


On  my first visit to NYC in the early 1980s, I went directly to MOMA (in its original incarnation). Checked my suitcase in the coatroom and went immediately to see the permanent collection. I still remember walking into the Matisse room which was so intimate. “The Red Studio” and others surrounded me and I literally felt weak in the knees. Luckily in those days, the rooms had benches so I could sit down. I sat and just took it in for quite a while.

Woman in Blue Bra – Egypt


Today I was looking through images that I had posted to this blog to add to Random Interference, and I came across the image above which I posted on February 29, 2012 . It was linked to an article in Buzzfeed, and that link is now dead. So I did some searching. A google ‘search by image’ came up with “best guess for this image: blue bra girl,” which I quickly realized refers to woman in the newspaper image who is being dragged. The image was taken December 17, 2011. US feminist me resents that this image and the women becomes know as the ‘blue bar girl’. I didn’t do follow up at the time so I did not realize until today the extent of the anger that the event (and image) caused. It became a symbol of outrage against abuse of power by the military. The following screen grab from my image searching sums it up.

image search: blue bra girlLinks to more information:
Tahrir Square, December 17, 2011

Egyptian women march against military rule – War in Context (with attention to the unseen)

The ‘Girl In The Blue Bra’ – NPR

‘Blue bra girl’ rallies Egypt’s women vs. oppression – CNN

The “Blue bra girl” comes back as a masked avenger – EastWestWestEast

It’s International Women’s Day – Will the Blue Bra Girl Be Forgotten? Between the Lines

Mass March by Cairo Women in Protest Over Abuse by Soldiers