I’m participating in Fun-a-Day, a daily art challenge through the month of January, committed to do a daily post here detailing some Big Art Idea or project that looms somewhere out in my future.
I have a weakness for collections of things. And while I subscribe to the excellent Things Organized Neatly blog, I’ve found that it is a modicum of disorder in a collection of similarly sorted objects that really gets me going. The scrap metal pile or the clean lumber pile at the dump sends me into fits of covetousness. The train yard always offers neatly sorted piles of railroad spikes, tie-plates, and other scrap metal. Don’t even talk to me about the treasure troves in the garages of old men. Oh man.
It is some perfect intersection of my desires to find a use for everything, to organize things, and to horde sources of plenty for times when there is scarcity. Like I don’t need a wagon, but here is an only-slightly-broken wagon and someday I may need a wagon and I won’t have one.
Sometimes it just feels like there is little point in being an artist, since the art is already there. Look at this pile. It is already a post-modernist/Dadaist re-contextualization of the detritus of modern life. No need to take the urinal and put it on a plinth — it is already perfectly situation next to the broken bike wheel, the rusty propane tank, and the disassembled engine block.
Still though. Still though. I have the impulse to take these things and do something. Something with them.
A lot of my sketches in my notebooks are like this. Titled things like A Collection of Old Radios All Tuned Differently, or An Entire City Made of Old Circuit Boards, or White Objects Found in the Desert.
This sketch is like that. It was also at a time when people were freaking the fuck out because someone may or may not have been sending Anthrax spores through the mail. I have a perverse nature that often wants to explore the areas that send people into hysteria.