The Dicebox Family Album
In the mid-eighties, I produced a book called The Dicebox Family Album with the aid of a small artist endowment. The book—semi-autobiographical—was my take on growing up in Midwestern suburbia. The name “Dicebox” was chosen more or less at random, and the people portraying the Diceboxes were actual family members.
Reviewers wrote: “Stephen J. Hill has given us a series of eccentric images of a mid-Ohio suburban family. "Somewhere amidst Duane Michaels, theatrical sequences, Diane Arbus’ lovely celebration of the bizarre and Bill Owens’ own investigation of suburban life, Hill has taken a turn and arrived at his own place."
"The Diceboxes' entire existence is coldly controlled. It is a land of gadgetry and Chemlawns, where the good life is served up in Tupperware and order and convenience reign supreme. The characters of the story are no less bothersome in their robot-like presentation and the somber expressions on their faces do little to dissuade us of their sense of isolation. Hill, director of his own past, the photo as Proustian madeleine, has given us a glimpse of the insidious side of the American Dream. The album serves as an autobiographical time-wrap in which Hill drops in and out by virtue of his surrogate, 'the little boy Donny' in the photographs."