Like many other artists, I can become insanely exuberant about the materials and tools I use to create a work of art. I could easily impoverish my family by buying up any new color or brush or surface that is the most recent offering. I am enamored by the new technologies, love the excitement of understanding the medium, surface, or tool and am lured into a feeling of contentment and confidence by the process of researching, selecting, acquiring and, most of the time, using the new piece of art supply.
But, this is all undermined and undone when I notice and remember all the trash I am also creating. For me, it is truly antithetical to the act of artistic creation to also be producing so much garbage. Honestly, for me it isn’t worth it. Fuck Art – if the products of artistic expression are going to end up in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or some other giant trash eddy. Art becomes ancillary to an ugly thing.
So, as an act of atonement perhaps or maybe instead as an act of appeasement, I have become a trash collector. I pick through the trash looking for useful bits of discard.
And, guess what! I find them. I fine lots of things I can put back into service instead of throwing them into the Pacific Ocean, instead of spending so much money unwisely, instead of distracting myself from the fundamentals of Art-itself. Most of them work just as well as the things purchased from the art supply house inventory. Sometimes, the things I pluck from the trash work much better.
So, now I will be posting some videos. Raw, unprofessional, informal, but born of perhaps a purer impulse:
The Anatomy of My Debris
This delirious poem is a piece of trash
it has arms and legs a head
a drooling head
its feet clomp from the weight of being
the body contorts from
the pain of being discarded.
The eyes pressed into this fool face are plastic caps.
The hair on its clumsy head is composite small bits of plastic line
weed whacking line fish line
plastic tabs and pulls and cable ties.
My debris is a work of art.
My debris is an artist with cigarette butt fingers
and gumchew toes.
Sunscreen sluffing skin
Tear off float off sheets of greasy coral-killing skin.
A rain of the artist pilfering resources clogs
Seas and bays and rivers and my home stream
chokes off the ocean of all creation
Shedding bits of garbage from the cloak of its being like Appleseed.
Dear gods can’t we burn this body as an offering?
The rank and the poisonous and the forlorn given up to you?
Let our crooked smokes climb to your nostrils through the black ruined air.
Let us be rid of everything.