Our baby is due tomorrow. I forgot this strangest of feelings of waiting quietly for everything in the world to change.
Isolate each man’s head with a sheet of paper.
Look into his face until it becomes clear what his name is.
Write it down.
100 found, pre-written posted & received postcards will be re-stamped and returned to their original recipients. SIte-specific work for MOCA Cleveland, opening in July.
I have accidentally started to collect hand-whittled things.
Whittling is worrying with props. And just worrying about one specific thing; a knife or fork, a feather, a little racing car. This collection in my studio surprised me just now by its existence. I thought I was just buying bits and bobs, but a few weeks later it’s a collection of worried wood.
I’m considering limiting the collection to pairs of whittled objects. But pairs that were not made at the same time or by the same person. I will just wait for them to show up. A very slow life-time-long game of snap. Searching for evidence of two unconnected people who at one moment or other had the same idea and acted on it.
At the Dollar General in Alfred, New York I turned around and saw that Otto had made this. Quietly extending the cups from a single package to a perfectly leaning tower by himself while I was looking at stickers. He had stepped back and was considering it. I don’t think I’ve ever felt prouder. I imagined him talking to artist Tom Friedman about all the things that might be done next.
Found, sealed envelope containing a collection named “Natural Bridge Cards 8 for 10c Natural Bridge of Virginia, INC Natural Bridge, Va. ” 3.75″ x 6.75″, paper envelope, unknown contents.
I have never been to Virginia or imagined before a “natural bridge”. There can’t be many things where eight of them can cost ten cents and still be worth selling.
I will make ten versions of things that might be inside this package.
So far – 73 pairs of shoes, several on the way, one pair lost in the post, eleven more pairs to find. Would you & your spouse like to take part?
I have been working on a project called One Brown Shoe, in which one hundred married couples from around the world secretly make brown shoes from bits and pieces around the house. I’m looking for ten more couples to take part, please get in touch if you’d like to or know anyone else who might. Thanks!
To take part you and your spouse would make a single brown shoe each. Left or right shoe, functional or not, made from any material that you happen to have lying around. They may take as little or as much time as you happen to have free. A two minute shoe, a one day shoe. The only requirement is that you don’t discuss the project with your partner at all and make your shoe in secret, while your partner also makes a single shoe in secret. When both shoes are finished you reveal them to one another. This part is great.
Then you send the pair to me and I take a beautiful photograph of them and send it to you. In the end your pair of shoes will be part of a collection of one hundred mismatched pairs, made by one hundred couples from around the world and will be exhibited as a collection.
You do not need to be an artist or maker of any kind to take part. The shoes can be as simple, crazy, ugly, odd as they happen to come out. I’m interested in the different ways that people interpret the instruction, and the beautiful mismatching that will occur. All shoes may be anonymously exhibited if preferred. Your shoe will stay coupled with your partners.
(I wish I could include a picture here of the huge collection of wonderful shoes I have so far, but have to wait until all two hundred have arrived and the project is closed – sorry. Perhaps just imagine them, all lined up in beautiful brown mismatched pairs, virtually no two alike)
My old typewriter is made for accountants who have no need for exclamation marks. I have tried “I” and “.” but it looks wrong. New Mother’s Days from Illinois, Pennsylvania & South Africa are up today. Thank-you Taylor who is busy typing in the background as I write this.
today I brought home:
A metal cup
A magazine rack
A toy tape measure
A small foldy metal shelf
A new wallet made of eel skin
A small plastic animal like a badger
Some discoloured envelopes and notepaper
25 antique wooden children’s blocks with letters on
A queen-sized stained and old green/white curtain depicting fans
A beautiful old wonky, wooden shelf with eight square compartments
A big rolled-up piece of card with thirty full-colour postcards printed on it
Some notebooks where you could nearly see what the last person using it had last written
When Otto was six weeks old or so we left our house to go and buy bread when a Google Street View car drove past, close and fast. I pictured the jerky photos it took as it went by. A protective new mother looking startled and cross carrying a tiny baby in a pouch. I imagined that for years we’d be virtually trapped in that moment in the back-alley, long after we moved away and Otto left home. Now it’s nearly two years later and the picture’s still not there. Our old house is shown before we ever moved into it, when I was still in England and had never heard of a city called Pittsburgh. I am waiting patiently and check every week. At least.
The other day while exploring the studio Otto found a long polystyrene piece of packaging. Without hesitation he broke it into four pieces, piled them from largest to smallest on the table, then went and did something else. I was at once amazed and envious of his creative certainty. Of the instant following through of an instinct to change something, with no expectation afterwards of that change.
Have idea. Make it. Walk off.