Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday, August 22, 2010

ok, new plan

I have felt really slow-going coming up with a reformed proposal. At Elsewhere, three days flies by like nothing, yet also feels like a tremendous expanse of valuable work time. ( I heard someone the other day refer to time passing here the way it does in a casino. I actually have never been to a casino, but I tend to agree with them anyway.) I was relieved and reinvigorated this morning to finally have a new idea I was excited about that both fit and grew my interests, as well as embodied the vision and creative practice of Elsewhere. I will utilize the same loft space, but in a way that does not require people to traverse the tricky ladder or the platform of questionable stability. You'll see what I mean in a future post...

But for now, (in terms of my project) this will be the World's Largest Ball of Twine from Darwin, Minnesota.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Think again!

Well, I will forgo the project sketches promised earlier and let you know this: the space I had proposed for my installation has been deemed "structurally unsound." Uh-Oh!

I went up there this morning with the Elsewhere building manager, Ian, to discuss the details of my construction plans. After a few jump-tests and further examination of the floor boards, it was determined that making the loft safe enough for more than one person at a time would take more work than I have time or currently-known-skillsets for during this residency. We are talking major demolition and rebuilding. So, as they say, back to the old drawing board. I remain optimistic though, this building has so many opportunities.

notches cut through support beams 100 years ago to hold electrical lines? bad news!

100 year old wires connecting to other wires to hold up the platform? bad news!

On a brighter note, here is our recent Elsewhere family portrait:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

exploring elsewhere

There is more to this building than could be explored in a lifetime. Every floor, room, nook and cranny instigates a double-take, kindles memory, and proposes possibility.
My attention continues to gravitate to two areas/exhibitions/installations in particular -- "The Museum of Natural History," and "The Historical Society." These are two areas of Elsewhere (pictured below) that have been remained relatively "as they were" when Sylvia operated the building as a series of businesses.

"The Museum of Natural History" depicts the building as it was in its last phase of business when Sylvia ran it is a general thrift store. You can see the accumulation running wild. Additionally, you get a glimpse of her systems of organization and value. Jars and bread-bags were favored sorting and display units.

"The Historical Society" is a room tucked up in the third floor of the building. It served as the office to the Gray's series of businesses over the decades. It is brimming with business documents, personal letters, newspaper clippings and catalogs.

The main floor of the museum is so full of exhibits and installations I was skeptical that I could find space to work in. Until I ventured up to the loft above the front window...

After spending some time in the loft thinking about what I could do on the two walls up there, I came to see the view out into the museum as the real point of potential. My idea was born: The Observation Deck -- a touristy Elsewhere viewing experience in the loft above the front window.
Drawings to follow ... but, for now, cleaning!

Many thanks to interns James and Molly for helping me move 5 gigantic boxes of hats and "re-curate" the suitcases and artist boxes on the long shelf.

Project sketches to follow ...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Greetings from Elsewhere!

Greetings from the Elsewhere Artist Collaborative in Greensboro, North Carolina! I am currently an Artist in Residence here, a living museum set within a former thrift store. The story of Elsewhere is winding and fascinating and you can check out the whole operation at

from the "HER-STORY" pamphlet at the museum desk "Imagining collaborative futures from the surplus of the past" :

"From 1939-1997, Sylvia Gray filled an extraordinary thrift store in downtown Greensboro with a vast inventory of American surplus. Her wares included furniture drawn from Depression stock houses, WWII and Korean War army surplis, thousands of bolts of upholstery fabric from local mills, and toys, clothing, books, and knickknacks. Upon her passing, the building was boarded up, and the astounding accumulation of resources and histories remained piled throughout the three-story building.

In 2003, George Scheer (Sylvia's grandson) and Stephanie Sherman began excavating the store, declaring nothing for sale and organizing the collection as a resource for artistic creation and collaborative production. The inventory recounts an historical narrative of the Great Depression's effect on value and consumption, and a cultural story written in attics and basements across the country. Today, Elsewhere proposes an environmental solution to overproduction through re-use. The living museum responds with creative action to artistic and philosophical questions, while imagining models for community built from materials of our shared past."


I am to spend the first few days exploring the building, current art and installations on site, as well as the massive thrift-store inventory turned materials-on-hand. From all of this I will be developing a specific project proposal and going from there! More to come ...

My artist profile and project page is viewable @

Friday, August 22, 2008

Going Native


I'm moving to St. Augustine. Tomorrow morning I'm packing up the car and heading south.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

greetings from ... The Desert of Maine!

as of August 11th, 2008 (the day i first entered the state of Maine) i have now been to every state on the east coast. at lonnnnnnng last :) but --- ONLY every state on the east coast ...

my friend rachel (check out her amazingness at and i recently took a trip to Maine together for a few days. our first stop was the visitor center where we found this flier:

so obviously we HAD to go:

Upon further exploration, one finds out that The Desert of Maine is not actually a "desert" as much as it as a large mass of land that was completely over-farmed and, thusly, eroded to the sand that was beneath the soil. The folks at The Desert of Maine website give this synopsis:

"William Tuttle Farm: 1797. In 1797 the Tuttle family moved to the 300 acre farm that once covered the Desert of Maine where they successfully raised crops of potatoes and hay for several years. Failure to rotate crops thereafter, combined with massive land - clearing and overgrazing resulted in severe soil eroison that exposed this hidden Desert. As the spreading sand grew uncontrollable, the Tuttles surrendered, leaving the Desert to it's destiny."