As a response to Noah Scalin’s 365, I gave thirty seconds of thought to what I could do for 365 days. Several ideas came to me, but none were more prevalent, more tangible than an art that comes to me both naturally and with great difficulty. Let me lay on some suspense and tell you a little about myself.
I am a person who loves things. I love products, especially. But I also love old things. I love materials. I love having, and I do not like getting rid of. Sometimes theft is what it takes to rip me from my warm fuzzy place filled with commodities. Such an incident happened when I was in college. I left my door to my Richmond, Virginia apartment unlocked, leaving in a hurry. I returned to find some of my most valued possessions, along with some of my roommate’s, gone. I was at that time in one of the more free-form classes that the School of the Arts at VCU offered. Most of my digital art was gone, as I left my back up drive next to my computer. Everything in my life was stolen, I thought to myself in tears. But my professor told me to make art out of this, and though it wasn’t the prettiest stuff, it was some of the more meaningful art I made. The class was a large format printing class. I found, in the wreckage of my seemingly destroyed life, a backpack I had saved of old notebooks, with school notes, and doodles in the margins. I scanned these and printed them out large scale, coupled with recent meditations I’d made on life. It was an odd art.
Recently, something similar happened. My hard music library, of which I was very proud, was packed into a zippered CD case in my car. I left my car unlocked (that’s how all these things seem to happen) and I was surprised to find that someone actually took my CDs out of my car. Having been inoculated against the pain of loss, I dusted my ego off and wished whomever had my CDs well. I was left with a problem, though. What should I do with all the CD cases I have at home? I thought to myself. Yesterday, an idea came to me. I could make an art piece out of them. So that’s just what I did.
And I realized, recycling my own art, and recycling others’, has been a recurring theme to my work since I can remember making art.
I propose this. I will probably not be able to stick to it, so don’t get your hopes up. My philosophy is that just because perfection is impossible doesn’t mean I shouldn’t attempt it.
I will make each day, from a day soon onward, a piece, created from objects that gather dust, objects that I can’t let go of nor bring myself to commit to a landfill. I’m going to finish (or at least put a huge dent in) projects I’ve started, as well as projects that are currently not started. I am going to take my things and make them useful again, and if I am prepared to, let go of them in their new form.
Why am I not starting now? As heroic as it would be, I have to work this new idea into a non-existent schedule I should have for my work and my continuing education. I want to commit a large amount of time to this, so I’m going to give it some thought, at least more than thirty seconds worth of thought.
In the meantime, here’s some eye candy that serves the purpose of letting you know that I am, in fact, working on this.