Friday, September 5, 2008


I met with the visiting artist Gregory Sholette in my studio today and spoke to him about my ideas for the chalk line project. The project has changed a little after discussing it with people. I think I would no longer like to limit it to another self portrait of my own daily life. I also want to include other people's everyday experiences, and map them out in different colors, to see where our paths may intersect or run parallel to each other. He encouraged me to look up the concept of "drifting" that was part of the Situationist movement started by philosopher and artist Guy Debord. This is what I found:

"Influenced from the French word “dérive”, or “dirft”, Drift LA calls for a revisiting of our ways of experiencing Los Angeles. French philosopher and Situationist Guy Debord first used the word "drift" as part of the Situationist International movement in Europe in the 1960’s.  As prisoners to our daily route and routine, living in a complex city but treading the same path every day, he urged people to follow their emotions and to look at urban situations in a radical new way.  This led to the notion that most of our cities were so thoroughly unpleasant because they were designed in a way that either ignored their emotional impact on people, or indeed tried to control people through their very design. The basic premise of the idea is for people to explore their environment without preconceptions, to understand their location, and therefore their existence." 
Visit the Drift LA website here.

This idea would make for an interesting spin on the project if I tried to bring it to a gallery. I could encourage people to take one of the chalk line makers out for a walk, with the goal of drifting or going on an adventure. So that when other people visited the gallery they could follow these lines that lead out of the space and onto the streets, to see where others ended up. It's similar to Janet Cardiff's sonic art "walks" in a way, but without the extra narrative.

This brings up another change in the original idea: using spray chalk instead of chalk powder. It was recommended by Eve Mosher because it is semi-permanent, lasting 15-30 days instead of blowing away after a few minutes. It can still be controlled by wheeling around a "wand" to mark a line (pictured above), and it can be bought in many different colors. The only real problem I have with it is the waste that would be created by all the empty cans. One aerosol can only lasts for a maximum of 500 linear feet, so I would need to use approximately 3-5 cans just to get from my home to my studio. So I would need to carry a backpack full of extra cans with me everywhere I go, and figure out how to incorporate (or not incorporate) the empty cans into the project somehow. 

1 comment:

nic said...

You should also check out 'dromoscopy'. I think it was Bachelard, no Virilio. Hmmm I forgot who dreamt that one up, but another wandering thing.
Also you must must must read Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar!! Not only is it a fabulous book, I think that it would be a great book to read while embarking on this project.