[smartwentcrazy.] = Yelling at bees doesn't make them go away.

Jason A. McHenry ::

[52 Weeks Main Page.]

[52 WEEKS.] = 07.29.02 - 07.27.03

Nothing to say about this one really. I did one box a week for a year. Using found objects, original art, ephemera, et cetera. A visual diary, of sorts, and I kept a seriously detailed journal with a complete inventory of all of the objects and items in the boxes along with some pretty exposed written journal entries for every single week. The following images are of the final/finished pieces and there are three different file sizes [S, M, and L] in case they were too big or too small.

And the text entries on this page have been, I admit, somewhat censored. I made sure to just write everything in the journals for this project regardless of how embarrassing or raw or crazed any of it would sound. but now that it's over I don't want anyone to get mad at me or, worse still, hurt.

This project was a very hard thing for me to do. I hope that you like it. [jasonwentcrazy a t yahoo dot com.]

07.29.02 – 08.04.02

The little bird skull was from a dead bird that was left on my balcony by my cat neighbors. They sleep on my balcony a lot as it is on the first floor and they can easily jump up there. And I have two kind of furry chairs out there that they like to nap on. I cat-sat for my upstairs neighbor a couple of times and I think the dead bird was a gift from the cat for my hospitality. I ended up tossing it into the lawn and recently walked past it. It was nearly skeletal and I went inside for a pair of scissors and snipped the little head off and cleaned it up with peroxide. I did wash my hands afterwards. My mother called while I was plucking dead bird feathers from this little skull and she asked what I was doing. I have no idea why I told her the truth and she flipped out and went on and on about how many diseases birds carry and I'm lucky if I don't die. I did wash my hands. Anyone that knows me and my art  will recall that I invariably feature a skull of some sort right from the start. I know full well that it is “an overused motif” so I just get it over with.


TITANIC foam piece: Unsure as to what this is for. Light black foam with solid white lettering set completely through. This provides a reverse text on back side of foam. I sliced the foam in half length-wise giving me two pieces instead of one. I think I may try to include the other half in the last box. I like the foam TITANIC thing so well as it is just such a weird and unknown object. I found it outside of my apartment building and noticed it while standing on the balcony smoking and staring at squirrels. It's funny also that this foam TITANIC thing would be impossible to sink. And Basquiat wrote TITANIC on his shoes after Warhol's death. [Movie version, at least.] I am ending up filleting the thing and laying it flat. Welcome mat style. We had one of those hard rubber black mats with white lettering when I was a kid. TITANIC is also significant as the start my project, which is sort of monumental. Sort of. / Background image: from Adbusters magazine [Jul/Aug 2002 No. 42] – Inside cover and first page “Myth of Depth Painting” by Mark Tansey. / Small colorful feather from a parrot. [Not an albatross.] This was kept in a small blue velvet pouch that held a set of Runes I made for myself out of clay in 9th grade. I found the pouch today and looked inside. I forgot I put the feather there. From Quaker Baker [unoriginal name for a Quaker parrot] the bird that lived with me in STL Apt.3E who enjoyed marijuana and opium smoke and walked all around the apartment like he owned the place.


Albatross: A heavy burden of guilt that becomes an obstacle to success, as in The failed real estate scheme became an albatross around her neck, for now she could not interest other investors in a new project. This idiom comes from Samuel Coleridge's narrative poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner [1798], which is based on the widespread superstition that it is unlucky to kill this large white sea bird. In the poem a sailor does kill an albatross, and when the ship then is stranded near the equator and runs out of water, his shipmates blame him and force him to wear the dead bird around his neck.


08.05.02 – 08.11.02

Plastic, bent spine was originally a novelty keychain. The L1 and L2 are for Lumbar 1 and 2. / Blackened, aged quarter found on my living room floor. 1966. Was already blackened and tarnished. [Are these silver?] I set it in the pelvic area to sort of denote a place for a baby. Or a vacancy in that area. The red “X” is kind of just for a bit of color. And “broke” can be connotative of a state of financial poverty as well as the obvious definition of disrepair or damaged. / Old postage stamps from Chris Dyer. Torn from a package sent to him from a purchase of old postcards on eBay. / Rusted bolt from my parking space. / Porcelain dentistry tooth from some unknown old dental display. An incisor. [?] / Rusted nail from my parking space.


An old friend is in town from Colorado to visit Chris and me. She has some new mechanical implant in her lower back. It comes with some remote control she can use to turn it on and off. This is all stemming from her broken back. The spine was used for this reason. I marked on the plastic spine the same 2 vertebrae that she broke.

I will have to end these bones and skeletons immediately or I’ll be stuck in that rut. I painted the glass black on this one. The whole week just felt that way.


08.12.02 – 08.18.02

Wine corks: Three from the week. A Bordeaux Merlot, one with an R and some arrows and another one that looks like Hebrew writing. I only kept the corks and not the bottles. Laura drank a lot of wine for her birthday. [August 17th] / Small piece of rotted wood: from the balcony flower box. Not sure. / Pieces from a plant that never stood a chance and died immediately. I think it was a desert lotus or something like that. / A dead bee on a straight pin. / Little glass perfume bottle found in the parking lot of the bank. It was all scratched up and is printed with, "AMARICE"[?] "GIVENCHY" and "PARIS" on the front. The back says, "Parfum" "002" "Made in France". It had no lid but still smelled nice enough. / Old box from some tool that holds metal parts together with magnets while you weld them. I use it now to hold my Dremel tool bits. I am collecting just about every little object that I find for use in these boxes.


08.19.02 – 08.25.02

Tall vial of dust from the Nevada desert. / Rock from Black Rock Desert. / Dried fish is something I had for a few years. I got it out of the back of an old pick-up truck that belonged to a co-worker in Missouri. It was used as bait on a fishing trip and had been baking in the sun for a very long time, months for sure, and was nice and petrified and bleached white. The theme at Burning Man this year was A Floating World and was a kind of Waterworld in the middle of the desert. I thought the fish was a fine metaphor for us all out there. [Sort of.] / A bit of tumbleweed from Dismal. They had these remote controlled tumbleweeds that they’d chase people with. / Small instant photograph. / Bob’s baby eye from a strange blinking baby doll that Bob brought out to Burning Man. He was decorating our bar and insisted the doll had to be blind in one eye. I later found the popped-out eye under the couch of the shade structure when we broke camp. / Mermaids cut from a “Nautilus X” boarding pass. I have no idea where I got the boarding pass or what I was supposed to be boarding but the mermaids were sure nice. / Map of art installations at Burning Man.



08.26.02 – 09.01.02

Fifteen black rocks collected from the desert. [One for each day on the playa.] / Small section of neon from after the burn. / Salt shaker from Bob, formerly filled with illicit street drugs in a true Hunter S. Thompson fashion, now filled with cinders from after the burn. [And some playa dust.] It is sealed with a white ketchup bottle top as salt shakers have holes for things to dump out of. / Black and white image of the desert floor from a Burning Man postcard / Gold doubloon collected but not traded for a climb to the top of The Man [I had already been up there earlier in the week.] This coin was used as the only currency for admittance to the very top of The Man. You had to accomplish certain goals and participate in certain activities in order to get a gold coin. Then you had to turn it in if you wanted to climb The Man.


09.02.02 – 09.08.02

Indian money with an image of Gandhi that my mom sent me. / Small cardboard prescription medication box. / Dice from casino. / Red poker chip from the Duck Casino far off on the edge of the Nevada Desert. [Good for drinks and other barters.]


Reno has always reminded me of pink. We stay at Circus Circus for a couple of days. Then on to Manteca to pick up a stereo before heading back to Seattle.



09.09.02 – 09.15.02

Small instant photo of my new kitten Mephisto who would not sit still enough. / Small instant photo of a painting that I named my new kitten after. / Metal ID Tag from the animal shelter. / Feathers that were immediately torn apart from a little fishing pole sort of toy. / Jawbone from some unknown animal. / Plastic tiger or lioness toy.


You can hardly ever adopt a kitten on Mondays because the vets don’t do spaying or neutering on the weekends. I didn’t know that. Mephisto, formerly known as Spike, comes home on 9/11 and the television stayed off all evening.



09.16.02 – 09.22.02

Skinny Shrimp advertisement from Yes You Can, page 38. [A book about vintage advertisements.] / Metal brace from refrigerator rack found in storage. / Porcelain dentistry teeth. [Possibly from some old dental display.] / Bone from probably a bird. Found in my side yard. / Old small white box that probably held some old screws or something.


I had met Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk a couple of times before this. He used to come into the bookstore where I worked to sign stock whenever he was around. I had read in some interview with him about his father being murdered and how the guy that did it was caught and how Chuck was working out his thoughts on the death penalty and all that. My Uncle Andrew, who I am named after, was murdered and the guy that did it was recently executed in Missouri. [October 24, 2001 @ 12:03am] I had been kind of going through the same weird feelings about the whole thing and wanted to ask him about it. Some of his comments in the article were very similar to the way I was thinking and feeling and I really did find some comfort in what he said. Seriously. I did ask him privately about his situation and I immediately regretted it. I am sure he didn’t expect to have it brought up and he said he was doing fine and working through it and that he’d rather not talk about it. And, now that I think of it, I don’t want to talk about it either.


This box was just a kind of nod to Chuck and to Fight Club in particular. I took the easy route on this one as the other topics from this week are just too convoluted. Besides, I just know I didn’t have the strength to just beat the hell out of my emotions and then shove them down into one of these little wooden boxes. I washed this box in day-old black coffee.



09.23.02 – 09.29.02

Brass or other type of metal number ‘9’ from an old address sign. / Six small glass vials with corks. [Labeled A-F.] The contents of these vials are as follows:

A: Breath [with feather.]

B: Hair

C: Fingernail clippings

D: Urine

E: Semen

F: Blood


I initially made enough shelves for eight bottles but could not come up with enough reasonable contents for them. I have one vial with only a feather in it to symbolize my breath. [I breathed into the vial and corked it shut.] This reminds me of Doonesbury when Dan Quayle is represented by nothing more than a floating, talking feather. But what else? Why use both toenail AND fingernail clippings? Surely any sort of bowel related products are entirely out of the question. My semen was hard enough to get into the vial. [I actually took off a condom and clipped a tiny hole in the end and squeezed it in. Not unlike a cake icing bag.] Not the most romantic of post-coital  activities, to be sure.


I painted the shelves and the inside of the box a cool minty blue. I wanted it to look kind of institutional like an old medicine cabinet. In my head I see it looking like an exact miniature replica of the medicine cabinet in my grandparent’s bathroom. Complete with vertical fluorescent lights on either side of a mirrored door with glass shelves on a white metal background with tiny dots and circles of rust in the shape of a double-sided razor or shaving cream can.



09.30.02 – 10.06.02

A drawing that Dave Eggers made for me in whitewashed box.


I didn’t do anything to this one other than wash the box and glass with a bit of white and scrape off the paint on the glass to better show the drawing that Eggers did. I went to a couple of Eggers readings this week and pretty much did nothing else.



10.07.02 – 10.13.02

Pages from a vintage paperback copy of Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. [Bantam Edition published September, 1949 – Second Printing.] I was just getting very bored of the same style of boxes and I opted to make it look like a book. I went to a nice handful of author readings this week including Michael Chabon, Irvine Welsh, Jonathan Lethem, and the guy that wrote The English Patient. I suppose the box seems a bit simple in hindsight but I worked many hours on finding and fitting those little hinges.


Someone left a Burning Man note on my windshield after seeing my BRC bumper sticker. At first, from far off, I thought I got a parking ticket and ran up ready to be mad.



10.14.02 – 10.20.02

Shirt dollar from an eBay auction. Sent to me as postage for a gift I sent due to my extreme tardiness in payment. [So as not to spoil my feedback rating.] / Fake bills sent to me along with the shirt dollars. / Metal piece I collected from Andrew’s basement. I just nailed it to the roof. / Sticker from The Last Temptation of Christ Criterion Collection DVD. The $39.99 price tag looks like a 666 when turned upside down. I gave the receipt to Chris because the printer tape was only wide enough to print “The Last Temptation of Chris”. / Miniature Holy Bible from a craft store. / St. Jude medal Chris gave me. On the back it reads: PRAY FOR US / White plastic elephant.


My family used to always have “White Elephant” parties when I was a kid where everyone gave each other some really crummy gifts. "White Elephant" is a term for a burdensome or useless object. I think it comes from an apocryphal tale about the King of Siam. According to legend, white elephants were so venerated in Siam that when one was found it automatically became the property of the King. It was a grave crime to ride, beat, neglect or kill a white elephant. Elephants really aren’t the most practical of pets and keeping an elephant is a ruinously expensive proposition unless you can generate income using the thing for labor or transportation or something. The King, it is said, realized that the special status of his white elephants, coupled with their size and appetites, gave him a handy weapon against his enemies. Anyone who displeased his majesty was given a white elephant as a royal gift, and within months, unable to do anything with it apart from feeding it, the recipient was invariably financially ruined. Thus "White Elephant" came to mean an object for which one has no use, and which may even represent a substantial financial drain, but which is difficult or impossible to get rid of. This is the closest to addressing political issues that I probably will get in this project. It just seems too expected and sort of trite, I think. Still, that’s how I feel about George W. Bush.



10.21.02 – 10.27.02

Death Tarot card image from cover of Newsweek magazine from October 21, 2002 / Plexiglas panel instead of real glass. I etched it with a drywall screw and the lines are filled with white oilstick. / Small red plastic figure shooting a rifle. This is from a series of Olympic sporting event figures. I also have a yellow boxing one. / I wanted to use real bullets or shell casings but I was too afraid to go into some ammo store and ask for real bullets for fear of getting reported.



The DC sniper kills 13 and is finally caught. On the back of this box was a sticker from the Criterion Collection Do the Right Thing DVD I bought. I got a DVD player recently and ordered this edition of Do the Right Thing immediately as it was not in stock. It was the very first DVD I wanted to buy. The sticker is one of those “director approved” signature stickers - “Spike Lee Approved”. I just stuck it on the back of the box at the very beginning of the week before I ever decided to even make the box center on the sniper case. I took it off though because it could very easily be misconstrued as racism on some level. Especially since the snipers turned out to be African-Americans. Spike surely would not approve.


It’s an interesting coincidence that the sniper killed 13 people and left the Death Tarot card [13th card] at a crime scene and this was my 13th Week.



10.28.02 – 11.03.02

Mexican Day of the Dead – Dio de los Muertos! / Skeleton with penis made out of FIMO. I only had brown FIMO and couldn’t find any other colors. I wanted white, of course. I had to paint over the brown with some white and like it better than just a solid white. I used to always draw my skeletons with a penis and think it is very funny. / Wire from my balcony. Hung there to hold a planter that I don’t use anymore. Coat hangers turned out to be too thick. / Mary icon from inside cover Taschen Mexicana Icons book. / Mexican toothpick flag given to me by Laura. / ‘Made In Mexico’ sticker from Tiffany’s Hare Cut sculpture. She gave me this perfect little Mexican folk art piece of a skeleton chopping up a rabbit with knives. Get it? Hare Cut? I wanted to just use the sculpture she gave me but it wouldn’t fit. I am so glad I didn’t break it to get it inside the box. I like the one I made a lot better in there. / 14 flowers for 14th week box + yellow for color but not marigolds though. They are Immortelle flowers.


Flowers, which symbolize the brief life of man, are used as an offering on the altars. Alter builders must rely on a network of relatives and neighbors, or purchase flowers for their display.

Yellow marigolds, known as "the flower of the dead," and other fragrant flowers are used to communicate to the spirits the richness of the offering. Sometimes paths of marigold petals are created by families to aid the souls in finding their way home.

-- The Day of the Dead, The Heard Museum “



11.04.02 – 11.10.02

Cutting from my houseplant. [The kind of plant that is almost impossible to kill off.] / Two pennies rejected from a CoinStar machine at Safeway. These were my literal last two cents. I thought it would be nice just to plant them with fingers crossed for growth. I made two separate boxes like this in case I killed one off. I did. The one that didn’t make it was a nice little cedar sapling but I think I over watered it and didn’t drill enough drainage holes. This little plant in the box started out with just three very small leaves and was about 3 inches long. It is unkillable.



11.11.02 – 11.17.02

Register receipt from Bartell’s: Items are as follows:






I was gathering supplies for quitting smoking. / Smoking Scotty novelty smoking dog keychain. Chris gave me this thing years ago. It came with these miniature cigarettes that you could put in his mouth and it would puff on them. Real smoke and all. / Handful of cigarettes from Wonder Book of Fun by Graham Rawle, page 29. / The quitting didn’t take for any more than 2 weeks.



11.18.02 – 11.24.02

Cardboard top from L’Occitane washcloth package. / Celestial image from Alchemy and Mysticism: The Hermitage Museum by Alexander Roob Page 112. R. Fludd, Utriusque Cosmi, Volume One, Oppenheim, 1617. / Black plastic object I found in a parking lot. It looks like it was some sort of crazy hair from an action figure or something. I didn’t do a thing to it other than trim the bottom to better fit over the circular cardboard top. / Label from IKEA. Halden. A new bed frame./ Label from something I bought. Probably one of those “Inspected By” stickers. Just a white sticker with a black letter A. For asteroid. / Toy magnifying glass. / A nail. / Small rocks. / Ruler from a day-planner or something. I found it behind the old bed when I moved it out. / Ruler from a bookmark.


The Etna Volcano erupts and the Leonid meteor showers were this week. I am obsessed with volcanoes and lava and meteors. Really. Bobby Fisher went a bit nuts this week as well and I was really close to making a box about him.



11.25.02 – 12.01.02

William S. Burroughs image from photo postcard – “Wm. Burroughs slightly zonked in Tangiers 1961 his garden room wall, Villa Mocenerica [sp? I cannot really read Ginsberg’s handwriting]: “Who are you an agent for? –Allen Ginsberg / Small metal pistol. / Miniature ceramic cow skull. / Plastic turkey from a festive holiday cupcake topper. / Indian head wooden nickel painted as a target. / Plexiglas etched with a Burroughs pome:

A Thanksgiving Prayer by William S. Burroughs/For John Dillinger, in the hope that he is still alive./[Thanksgiving Day, November 28th 1986]

Thanks for the wild turkey and/the passenger pigeons, destined/to be shit out through wholesome/American guts.

Thanks for a continent to despoil/and poison.

Thanks for Indians to provide a/modicum of challenge and/danger.

Thanks for vast herds of bison to/kill and skin leaving the/carcasses to rot.

Thanks for bounties on wolves/and coyotes.

Thanks for the American dream,/To vulgarize and to falsify until/the bare lies shine through.

Thanks for the KKK.

For nigger-killin' lawmen,/feelin' their notches.

For decent church-goin' women,/with their mean, pinched, bitter,/evil faces.

Thanks for "Kill a Queer for/Christ" stickers.

Thanks for laboratory AIDS.

Thanks for Prohibition and the/war against drugs.

Thanks for a country where/nobody's allowed to mind his/own business.

Thanks for a nation of finks.

Yes, thanks for all the/memories-- all right let's see/your arms!

You always were a headache and/you always were a bore.



12.09.02 – 12.15.02

Insides of a Caller ID box. / Insides of a track lighting fixture from my living room. I uninstalled this a long time ago to put up a more stylish fixture. / Thermostat face from that crazy hardware store over towards Eastlake. / Soldering wire. / Vintage bulb. / Assorted hardware. / Thermometer that Chris gave me.


I was working many hours on a web design project and was just fucking sick of writing code and sitting at a computer. I suppose I was listening to Looper as I stole the title from them. Sort of. I think theirs is “…my robot to write all my songs.”




12.09.02 – 12.15.02


Plastic scarab beetle – painted in blues. / Blue glass from Seattle Art Glass. / Wooden “W” Toy Block. / Wooden scrap with holes painted blue.


Joseph Cornell did a piece called Cassiopeia and I have been looking at books of his life and work. This constellation sits comfortably at the edge of the Milky Way and has the definite shape of a "W". I painted the bathroom Cassiopeia blue this week.


Long ago in Ethiopia Cassiopeia has been the wife of Cepheus and the mother of Andromeda. Because she thought herself more beautiful than the daughters of Nereus, a god of the sea, she challenged the anger of the god Poseidon. To punish her, her daughter was chained to a rock of the coast as a sacrifice for a sea monster. Andromeda was saved from death by Perseus. (Publius Ovidius Naso: Metamophoses, IV) To learn humility Cassiopeia was banned to the sky hanging half of the time with her head downward.




12.16.02 – 12.22.02


A lot of nails. I ran out and it took me a while to find the exact same size. The neighbors were banging on their ceiling to alert me to the fact that I was just banging away at my dining room table at 2 o’clock in the morning. My fingers were bleeding from being whacked with a hammer. I ended up having to hold the nails in a pair of needle nose pliers. / Smoked glass. / Image from front of a Christmas card - The Three Wise Men, from Kling-Klang Gloria [German folk and children’s songs], Heinrich Lefler, Austrian [1863-1919] Illustrated book with color illustrations, published in 1921.


I wanted to use a real piece of bark as the background for this one. And an image of St. Sebastian. I couldn’t really find any I liked and opted to use the Christmas card instead. I also planned on not having any glass in this one. Just a view inside with tons of nails. I think the smoked glass looks so much better. It is also hard to break away from the glass as a vital element to these boxes.


I was alone during the holidays. This is one of my favorite boxes.




12.23.02 – 12.29.02


Photograph of Joseph Cornell in his garden on Utopia Parkway. / Roof and base from cedar shingles in Lowe’s FREE pile of scrap wood. They weren’t truly free. I only wanted 2 or 3 shingles and they were only sold in big lots of hundreds of shingles. I pulled a couple off of a pallet and told the cashier they were in the FREE bin. I did, however, actually have some other little 2x4 scraps to fix my box spring that squeaked. [And still does, a bit.] The real free wood was marked FREE with a black magic marker which made my shingle lie seem believable. No one cares. / Fake plastic plants. / Scrabble pieces spelling UTOPIA from ‘I Found It’ on Roosevelt.


Joseph Cornell’s birthday [December 24, 1903] was this week. I remember seeing some Cornell pieces at the St. Louis Art Museum when I was young. I think my aunt Maureen took me there. and his address was on Utopia Parkway. I know that I have seen Cornell’s Isabelle [Dien Bien Phu] in person many times. Cornell died at home on December 29, 1972; he was cremated and then buried in a small, wooden box. Of course.




12.30.02 – 01.05.03


Rusted bottle. / Rusted nail. / Roof and base made from an old piece of plywood from Chris’ old laundry room. / 2002D Lincoln penny just to signify the passing of the year. I really wanted to somehow get the penny inside the bottle but that would be a lot of work and I may break the bottle.



01.06.03 – 01.12.03

Elastic rubber ear. / Straight pins. / Bit of dried fungus. / Brown glass bottle from vintage stain removing product I got at a garage sale. / Wooden piece for top.



01.13.03 – 01.19.03

Metal bars from old refrigerator rack found in storage area. / Convict photograph from Black + White by Steven Guarnaccia + Susan Hochbaum – Page 182. / Tin covering that Chris gave me.


Illinois Governor George Ryan delivers clemency to all 164 Death Row inmates. I tried to make this one look kind of like and old jail with riveted metal, et cetera. I marked off 164 notches in the side of the box.


I didn’t feel one bit better or worse after the man that killed my uncle was executed.



01.20.03 – 01.26.03

Etching of R.E.M. lyrics to Leave from Up. I couldn’t fit all of the lyrics in the small space. I couldn’t even really decide what the actual lyrics are. [Stipe may not even know for sure anymore.] Still, the last line has been transcribed in at least two separate ways: “A temper man who said believe in his dream” or “A temperament who said believe in his dream.” I can go both ways on it. I etched it as “temperament” and then kind of tried to cover it and change it to “temper man.” Maybe it is both of those things? This is also a small nod to Basquiat and his use of the copyright symbol. Particularly his “MILK©”. The lyrics I included are:


Nothing could be bring me closer.

Nothing could be bring me near.

Where is the road I follow?

believing, leave.


It's under, under, under my feet.

The scene spread out there before me.

Better I go where the land touches sea.

There is my trust in what I believe.


[That's what keeps me down.]


Shifting the dream

nothing could bring me further from my old friend time

charging the scene

I know where I marked the signs


I know it well, ugly and sweet

A temperament who said believe in his dream.



01.27.03 – 02.02.03

Gold-colored frame. / Edward Hopper painting.



02.03.03 – 02.29.03

Image of a caveman sneaking up and whacking an astronaut. From some design magazine that I cannot remember. / Plastic space station and rocket ship./ Newspaper clipping of the shuttle falling to Earth. / Rusted metal paintbrush wiper for gallon cans of paint. /


I remember watching the Challenger blow up in school. All the classes brought out their televisions and we watched the footage over and over. Like maybe they did when Kennedy was shot. But with radios mostly. I imagine kids all over were being forced to watch the same thing this time around. I love space. I went to Space Camp twice in Junior High. I touched a naked girl there for the first time. I wanted this box to be reminiscent of a shoddy cardboard rocket ship that kids make from old appliance boxes.



02.10.03 – 02.16.03

Detail from Lucky by Benjamin Long. [Oil, alkyd, mixed media on aluminum 36” x 28”] / Lizard shipped by accident to Seattle in a crate from Florida. / Old miniature oil can I got at a garage sale for a dime. / Sage leaves burned when I first got my apartment.



02.17.03 – 02.23.03

Black and white paper cut-out of a building. Used for arranging set decorations in miniature. / Original green bottle. / Two paper cut-outs from same set design mock-up.


This is the week that I started drinking again. And went to work for a theatre.



02.24.02 – 03.02.03

Photograph of Chris Dyer. [Lomo self-portrait.] / Etched Plexiglas. / Brown glass jar of pills. / Tube for taking blood samples. [Filled with red wine.] / “Sorry. We’re Dead” image from Modern Painter magazine. / Texts from J.T. Chick Christian comic book This Was Your Life. /



03.03.03 – 03.09.03

Found scrap wood with flaking coats of paint. / Old wallpaper. / Found crown molding. / Rock from Ireland. / Various molecular structures of illicit street drugs. /



03.10.03 – 03.16.03

Battery operated clock face. / Silver pig mold from thrift store. / Underworld Second Toughest in the Infants CD booklet images. / Rubber stamped Underworld lyrics. / Sandpaper.



03.17.03 – 03.23.03

Labels from medicine bottle for Mephisto. He had tapeworms and the one little pill cost thirty dollars. / Ceramic deer from thrift store find. / Ceramic bluebird. / Small ceramic rabbit. /



03.24.03 – 03.30.03

Dental mirror. / Three of my X-Rays from my dentist. I told him about this project and he gave me a ton of stuff to use in the box. / Plastic tooth from an old keychain. / Two cows teeth pulled from a decorative cow skull. / Porcelain dentistry teeth. [Possibly from some old dental display.] / Nail. / Image from dental diagram used by my dentist. /


My roots were 24mm long and apparently that is quite long. Only once before in his practice my dentist said he had a patient with 25mm long roots. I sat there for an hour and a half with my mouth pried open and a rubber dental dam pulled over my mouth. Small sharp files hollowing out my tooth removing the nerves. Jesus. The smell from that drill. Hooo!

Teeth have always been a prevalent image in my art. I am just obsessed with images of teeth. I have a nice little collection of old porcelain dental fixtures. Jars of teeth. Models of human teeth. I have a shadow box or two that contain teeth of all shapes and sizes. Jawbones of strange animals. An old gold tooth I found in the floorboard of my uncle’s attic. Mouse teeth. Old false teeth. My old Tooth Fairy teeth that my mom saved. Cow teeth. The list goes on.

I remember when I was young my mother chipped her front tooth. It was on Thanksgiving and all of our family was at our house that year. My mom pulled me quietly aside in the bathroom and then just started crying like crazy. She showed me what had happed and asked me what to do. I reassured her that it was no real big deal, hardly noticeable, and all that. She calmed down and I promised to keep her secret and she just tried to smile with pursed lips the rest of the day. Later on, I thought about that day and felt honored that of all our family [her own brother and sisters included] my mother felt most comfortable with telling me this secret. Like I would take her seriously instead of making fun. And that I would be able to reassure her that it was no big deal.

My kid sister was born without enamel on her teeth. And in this hugely rare instance there is really nothing that can be done about it until the baby teeth fall out and the adult teeth come in. So all through grade school my sisters teeth looked progressively worse until around sixth grade when she got all new ones. All of her grade school photos are smiles through pursed lips. Now she has the best teeth anyone could ever have or buy with money.

[I never really put any of this together until just right now.]



03.31.03 – 04.06.03

Two dried sardines. / Painted wooden heart.


Kim did this one for me. Her daughter Isadora used to call me Jish as, I suppose, she had a hard time with Jason. Plus I used to drive around with this giant fish on my dashboard. It was bright orange and plastic and was about a foot and a half long with a hollow body and a head that you could pop off to store things inside.


This week was April Fool’s Day. In 16th Century France April 1 marked the New Year. In France today April first is called “Poisson d'Avril" or April Fish. French children fool their friends by taping a paper fish to their friends' backs.


The X represents Gebo, one of the Celtic Runes. It means “Gift”.



04.07.03 – 04.13.03

Five bones from a birds wing. / ‘Fix-It’ logo from an old soldering iron box. / Chris’ Vicodin prescription information. / Found metal scraps. / Assorted screws and nails.


Chris was hurrying to get into the tattoo shop on time and jumped from the car while Laura and me drove off to find a parking spot. I still have no idea how he got ran over. Still, he got his tattoo and afterwards his ankle was just awful looking. We ended up going to the emergency room. I tried to run this box over with a car but it held up pretty nicely. Some of these boxes are constructed to be impossibly strong. I had to beat hell out of this box to get it to break and crack. Then I glued and nailed and screwed and bolted the thing all back together. Like Chris after having his foot ran over.



04.14.03 – 04.20.03

Metal electrical box. / Butterfly image from a design magazine advertisement for software. / White rice. / Wine cork. [Rubber stamped with the words LAUGHTER, PAIN, FORGETTING, and LOTUS.] / Lotus image. / Two nails. [One is used to turn the cork.]



04.21.03 – 04.27.03

Mummified mole that Andrew found for me at the Arboretum. / Pink theatrical lighting gel. / Image of Vesuvius. [The Eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 9, 1779, Pietro Fabris. Hand-colored etching.]



04.28.03 – 05.04.03

Plastic pink lady dancer. / Vintage Indian figure. / Merlot cork. / Weathered and aged flower wallpaper found in an alley on Queen Anne.



05.05.03 – 05.11.03

Theatrical spotlight Gobo sleeve/holder. / Tree Gobo. / Image from Flaunt magazine of trees at twilight. / Magnifying glass. [Plastic.]


Give me the moon at my feet.

Put my feet upon the crescent, like a Lord!

O let my ankles be bathed in moonlight, that I may go

sure and moon-shod, cool and bright-footed

towards my goal.

For the sun is hostile, now

his face is like the red lion.

-D.H. Lawrence



05.12.03 – 05.18.03

Microchip from Chris. / Ticket stub from The Matrix Reloaded at Cinerama for the 3:30AM showing. / Miniature rotary phone. / Telephone magnet. / Image of Yutaka Taniyama. / Image of sunflower spirals used to illustrate the Fibonacci Sequence found in nature. / Metal grid used, I think, for holding flower stems when inside a vase or container. Another find from I Found It on Roosevelt. / Nail. / Rusted washer. [I needed these mostly just to cover up a hole I drilled but ended up not using.]


Yutaka Taniyama is on my list of heroes, of sorts. Right up there with Richard Feynman in my book. He was born on November 12, 1927 in Kisai, Japan and died, by suicide, on November 17, 1958 in Tokyo, Japan.


Taniyama's fame is mainly due to two problems posed by him at the symposium on Algebraic Number Theory held in Tokyo in 1955. These problems form the basis of a conjecture: Every elliptic curve defined over the rational field is a factor of the Jacobian of a modular function field. This conjecture proved to be a major factor in the proof of Fermat's Last Theorem.


The suit in the photograph, one that Yutaka wore almost constantly, was actually a nauseating blue-green one with an even more revolting metallic sheen. The only reason he wore it was that no one else in his family would. He was also relatively incapable of tying his shoelaces, so they usually followed behind him like a pair of well-trained dogs. He tended to stay awake all night, sleeping in the early morning, and would get up around lunchtime.


His suicide note read, “Until yesterday I have had no definite intention of killing myself. But more than a few must have noticed I have been tired both physically and mentally. As to the cause of my suicide, I don't quite understand it myself, but it is not the result of a particular incident, nor of a specific matter. Merely may I say, I am in the frame of mind that I lost confidence in my future. There may be some to whom my suicide will be troubling or a blow to a certain degree. I sincerely hope that this incident will cast no dark shadow over the future of that person. At any rate I cannot deny that this is a kind of betrayal, but please excuse it as my last act in my own way, as I have been doing all my life.'' He then went on to describe how his belongings were to be shared out.


The Keymaster in Matrix Reloaded reminded me of Yutaka Taniyama. I started re-reading some old math texts that week. And papers on the theological implications of The Matrix.


05.19.03 – 05.25.03


This is in fact the last box.  He did nothing this week, so he says.  So, in a true, push-to-the-finish group effort, we have dedicated this box to our three favorite things: sex, booze, and Drinky Crow.  Originally, Dyer wanted to put Drinky Crow in his box.  They molded him, baked him, and he kept falling apart,



05.26.03 – 06.01.03

Faulty key to the front door of my apartment. / Petrified frog found in a spider’s web after being effectively mummified. / Cardboard box from old window hardware. [Easy Push Type Window Points.] / Glass vial of frog eggs. / Envelope, left with the hotel desk, that contained the key and had only my name written on the front.


Laura was leaving for San Diego and was staying at a hotel down the street. I was hanging out at Chris’ while she packed. The keys to the apartment were still on her keychain and I phoned her to remind her to leave the keys for me to get back inside. I had an extra set made up a long time ago and one of the keys was faulty and never worked. It sat in the ceramic bowl by the front door forever. She gave me the wrong key and I was locked out of my own apartment and had to climb in the window. The window hardware box seemed appropriate. I thought the frogs, in oppose stages of life and death, made sense. From frog eggs to tadpoles to frogs to dinner for a spider.


I made the box look like an old painting I made for Bob. He asked for some cover art for his latest poetry chapbook This is a Windowless House of Overcast Desire. I made a simple standard house shape. A square with a triangle on top. With only a door. I always liked that piece and named this box after it.



06.02.03 – 06.08.03

Gustav Klimt image. [Detail from his Danaé, 1907-1908, 77x83cm Oil on canvas.] / Shell jewelry with Peridot. / Nails. / Small white shell.


This is just an attempt at making a relative opposite of Week 21 with the nails going into the box. I couldn’t really hammer the nails from the inside of the box so I ended up pre-drilling small holes from the outside and then pushing the nails through. I ran out of nails halfway through [Just like Week 21.] and instead of going to get more I thought it looks nice as it is. Sort of incomplete but still equally beautiful and scary at the same exact time. And this way there is a bit of space on the box in order to hold it and not get jabbed.



06.09.03 – 06.15.03

Found distressed wood panel. / Wire mesh. / Champagne cork. [1995 Dom Perignon.] / Exploded theatrical light bulb. / Wishbone-shaped bone found outside my apartment. [The neighboring cats must be heroic hunters.] / Calendar dial from a watch or something similar. / Image of Kilowatts of Electricity used per hour.


I was nearing the end of this project and wanted to pay another small tribute to Joseph Cornell. The shape of the back panel reminds me of a bird house. Cornell is probably best known for his use of birds as subject matter for his assemblages.



06.16.03 – 06.22.03



06.23.03 – 06.29.03


Rubber gray brain. / Solder. / Chess pieces.



06.30.03 – 07.06.03

Buddha image. / Mouse spine and skull. [From Andrew.] / Sprig of Immortelle flowers. / My broken Claddagh ring. This is one of two rings with a crown theme that I have worn forever and just recently they both started cracking.


Originating about 300 years ago in the ancient fishing village of Claddagh just outside the walls of the City of Galway on the west coast of Ireland.



07.07.03 – 07.13.03

Luminescent statue of St. Clare of Assisi, the patron saint of television. Her name means ‘bright’ or ‘brilliant’. [Toward the end of her life, when the was too ill to attend Mass, an image of the service would display on the wall of her cell; thus her patronage of television.] / Small seasonal lights. / Small seashell. / Icons from a door hanger at the Hotel Dakota in Vancouver. [Chris sent envelopes of stuff for me that arrived after he had already been home for a bit.] I used the television, of course, for our girl Clare. And a toilet. And a shower head. / Newspaper clipping from Chris in Canada. It reads, “My apartment is my secret. It’s filled with empty liquour bottles. Not five or six. More like a hundred and the truly odd part is that I really don’t know how they got there”.


I hardly did a thing this week. I honestly stayed in my underwear on the couch watching horrible television. I watched programs that I had seen the day before even.


07.14.03 – 07.20.03

Piece of my shoe leather. / Stamps from a package from Ireland. / A small piece of quartz. / Assorted rocks from Ireland. / Dried flowers and foliage. / Irish coin.


I won a J.P. Donleavy book about Ireland on an internet auction. The seller, who lives in Ireland,  mentioned he would send along “a handful of Ireland” for me. In the mail I got some dirt and rocks and clover. [I think. Maybe it’s heather?] I was more happy about this than I was over the book I won. I have never even been to Ireland before but am finding that I cannot stop thinking of the place. I easily recognize this sort of distant longing that creeps up. Like when I start thinking of getting another tattoo. When my subconscious starts obsessing about things like that it somehow just manifests itself and becomes something that is essentially beyond my control. I’ll be there soon enough.



07.21.03 – 07.27.03

Crow skull found outside my building. / Black feather found on sidewalk. / TITANIC foam piece. / Desert image from cover of Cabinet magazine.


I wanted to have the final box be a kind of bookend for the project. I actually predicted my doing so in the first week and even wrote that I’d like to do so. The skull and feather is larger than those in Week 01. Also, instead of water imagery I used a desert image. The TITANIC foam piece is turned upside down and backwards in this final box.

[That is all.]

Some of our most popular concerns include:

52 Weeks :: A yearlong visual journal in fifty-two entries.
Jean-Michel Basquiat
:: A SAMO© resource.
Calvert in Cambodia :: Dispatches from abroad.
Toy + Plastic Cameras :: Lomo, Diana, Holga, et cetera.
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A Young Man's Primer on How to Attain the Leisure Class :: A very, very lazy web journal.

These sections are equally fascinating yet underdeveloped:
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The Starlite Letters :: A Prison correspondence.
Wendell Joseph :: Madman cartoonist and conspiracy theorist.
Dr. Martin McGovern :: American poet.
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In the interest of brevity you should know that this page was last modified on Tuesday, December 18, 2007 at 02:32:53 AM