[52 WEEKS.] = 07.29.02 -
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.
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.
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 , 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.
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
YELLING AT BEES DOESN'T MAKE
THEM GO AWAY
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
BURNING IN WATER DROWNING IN
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
ALL THAT GLITTERS
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
GHANDI GOES TO RENO [ALL THE
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
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.
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
EASY SCIENCE PROJECT FOR THE
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.]
C: Fingernail clippings
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
THAT’S HOW I REMEMBER IT
A drawing that Dave Eggers made for me in
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
AUTUMN TURNS ANOTHER PAGE
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
GOD CAN’T TRUST US
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
BECAUSE THERE’S NOTHING
FUNNIER THAN A SKELETON WITH A PENIS
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.
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
PLANT THIS BOX
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
MUSIC TO HELP YOU QUIT SMOKING
Register receipt from Bartell’s: Items are as
NICOTINE TRANSD PATCH 21MG 7CT 24.99 T
DUM DUM SUPER POP BAGS 11OZ 2.19
STARBURST SOUR FRT CHEW 6 75OZ 1.59
LIFESAVER FIVE FLAVOR BAGS 1.69
SOUR PATCH KIDS BAGGED 5OZ
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
FULLA’ BERLING WATER [RING OF
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
YOU ALWAYS WERE A BORE [THANKS
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
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
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
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
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
12.09.02 – 12.15.02
I’D LIKE TO TEACH MY ROBOT TO
MAKE ALL OF MY BOXES
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
MY BLUE ROOM [CASSIOPEIA]
Plastic scarab beetle – painted in blues. / Blue glass from
Seattle Art Glass. / Wooden “W” Toy Block. / Wooden scrap with holes painted
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
WHEN MY TOUGHNESS RAN OUT [ST.
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
12.23.02 – 12.29.02
JOSEPH’S UTOPIA PARKWAY
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
THIS TIME WILL TURN TO RUST
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
VAN GOGH’S EAR
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?
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.
IN A MONTH OF
Gold-colored frame. / Edward Hopper painting.
02.03.03 – 02.29.03
FUTURE SCIENCE VERSUS THE MAN
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.
SHE’S NOT A GIRL
WHO MISSES MUCH
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.
I AM SO GREEN
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
DROWNING NOT WAVING
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
I’M WORTH A MILLION IN PRIZES
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
KITELESS [TO DREAM OF LOVE]
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
PARASITE [DISEASE ABOUNDS]
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
ROOT CANAL [MY IRISH
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
04.07.03 – 04.13.03
TOE BONES [OHM]
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.
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.]
GOD FIGHTS GRAVITY
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
GIVE ME THE MOON AT MY FEET
Theatrical spotlight Gobo sleeve/holder. / Tree Gobo. /
Image from Flaunt magazine of trees at twilight. / Magnifying glass.
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.
05.12.03 – 05.18.03
YUTAKA TANIYAMA’S METALLIC
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
05.26.03 – 06.01.03
THIS IS A WINDOWLESS HOUSE OF
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
THREE MILES OF BAD ROAD
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
KING OF BIRDS
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
AS BEES IN HONEY DROWN
06.23.03 – 06.29.03
Rubber gray brain. / Solder. / Chess pieces.
06.30.03 – 07.06.03
CROWN OF SADNESS AND SORROW
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
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
MY APARTMENT IS MY SECRET
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
WALKING TOWARDS GALWAY
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
THE RESULTS ARE ALWAYS PERFECT
[TITANIC PART II]
Crow skull found outside my building. / Black feather found
on sidewalk. / TITANIC foam piece. / Desert image from cover of Cabinet
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.]