Sunday, October 7, 2012

"Pocket Notes" Submission

A couple weeks ago, I received an email from the curators of a project called Pocket Notes. The concept fascinated me: "we want the notes in your pockets that go through the wash, the notes on the nightstand, tucked beneath a glass of water on the kitchen table, in the glove compartment of your car or rediscovered in a book you took back to sell. we're looking for illegible diagrams, incoherent lists, definitions, histories, broken budgets and maimed poems."

Even though I scanned a note I carried around in my wallet until I dropped it in the Prairie Creek Reservoir while floating a cake (thus ruining it), I knew I had to submit images of all my lists. I photographed them this evening. Here is the latest incarnation with an artist statement (gasp):

On 2 June 2010, I started saving all my lists. Whenever I am confronted by a mass of objects, I have an irrepressible urge to count them. School was out of session and I was confused as to why I had to catalog so many activities. What was I forgetting? What needed to be done? Why was I constantly rewriting one when it became too messy to see what wasn't marked off? Every list I made was saved: items purchased at the grocery store, student participation in critiques, my goals to accomplish for the year (or the rest of my life), and states and countries I had yet to visit.

They are written on college ruled notepads, post-its, and recycled copy paper in Sharpie, black Uni-Ball fine point pen, and pencil. Everything was treated equally and nothing was immune if it comprised more than two items that needed to be checked off. 

Two years, four months, and five days later there are 806 of them with the date of completion inscribed on the back neatly bound in order. This evening when I photographed them for the first time in several months, I felt compelled to examine the earliest one. It was a list of art related activities I had to accomplish at school while preparing for a trip to Austin, Texas to float a Styrofoam cake in Barton Springs.

I don't know when I will stop collecting my lists but I foresee an unceremonious trip to the recycle bin (after extensive photographic documentation in the studio) when that occurs. In the meantime, they are a chronological marker that defines a mundane aspect of my life.

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