This is the debris left from my installation of The Life Instinct. People kept mistaking it for a sculpture! So when Marco suggested I go with it, it made perfect sense. After its transition from non-art to art status, people kept mistaking the it for trash, and a few people tried to clean it up. Love that ambiguity.

It also reminds me of this passage by Rebecca Solnit, from her essay Dirt. She discusses a letter-to-the-editor in her local paper addressing a bronze sculpture:

The letter pointed out that the ratio of disturbed earth to extracted copper is 364 to 1 and that therefore, somewhere out of sight, a considerable pile of tailings exists in conjunction with the sculpture. I am fascinated by this way of looking; by the implication that the meaning of the visible sculpture should incorporate that unseen heap…”

It is really hard for me to mentally separate an art object, the process of its making, and its by-products.

Head nod to ILSSA’s recent show at Saint Mary’s College. They asked their members to save the waste products of their art practice for a whole year, and then displayed that material:

Huts by Jill Sigman

Hut #6, jill sigman/thinkdance, The Norwegian Opera House, Oslo, 2011. Photo credit: Elisabeth F. Lund

The Hut Project (2009-ongoing): a series of site-specific huts made from found and re-purposed materials. Each hut is at the same time a structure, a sculpture, and an emergency preparedness kit in which themes of sustainability, shelter, real estate, and apocalypse intersect. Each hut acts as a catalyst for local activities such as performance, video, artistic collaboration, and community dialogue. Huts have been made in Troy, NY; Bushwick, Brooklyn; and upcoming in Oslo, Norway.

from her website

“I have been building huts made of trash. They are sculptures, stages, and dwellings. They are containers for experiences to happen in them. They can be engaged in different ways, depending on the sites and the people. I build them within institutions and while doing so I befriend the staff, the guards and maintenance crew. Some of these workers are often recent immigrants. Officially, I perform rituals and activities related to the site, such as dancing, planting, and cooking with food from local dumpster diving. I follow all this with public conversations. Unofficially, undercover connections of all kinds are happening between people who would normally not speak to each other. I hope that those connections remain after I leave.

from an interview on A Blade Of Grass by Ernesto Pujol.

Hut #3

Hut #4