We don’t have Saturday off
We don’t have Sunday off
We come home smelly
We don’t make a lot of money
We often looks like we tried to kill ourselves multiple times
When we do come home it’s not until late
We don’t hang out with your friends
We don’t have normal friends
We are obsessed with details
We are come home elated
We come home wasted
We come home disgusted
We have one day off and like to sleep in
We have a particular sense of humor
We can be completely cold
We are crass
We love to talk about food
We argue ad nauseam about how to cook an egg
Despite all of this we have a deep passion. Something that crafts us. A passion that is sparsely rivaled in any other profession. Its that passion carries over into the ones we care about and love. As we age we allow ourselves to slow down to show it.
I have never been terribly attached to material things in my adult life, just a few things. My blankey, which used to belong to my uncle until I inherited it at age four and hope to pass on to my child someday. My first watch that I bought in high school for $400 because my father insisted that I get a watch seeing that I was late all the time. The watch didn’t have any numbers so I was late a few more times until I figured out how to read it. The cross stitch with my birthdate and weight my mother made for me when I was born. My first Tonka truck, a big red fire truck with and extending ladder and detachable front.
For me its been the intangible that is hard to let go of, especially the knowledge of the last time. I would like to think I have become more of an optimist in recent years, but I’ve always been a romantic. My outlook on life shaped through the many romantic comedies I choose to watch. Yes Yes, I am admitting that I LOVE romantic comedies. In romantic comedies life is predictable. Someone is in a disillusioned state, starts to achieve, hits an obstacle, overcomes obstacle, a slightly low point follows, then a happy ending. Its never the last time in a romantic comedy, there is eternal hope. One might say that denial is the essence of hope, I disagree.
Hope is something that keeps me going, it assures me that if something is important that it will come around again and an even more important time. I don’t believe that any of us truly backtracks in our lives. I had a very smart professor in college explain life’s timeline to me once. He said that time moves in only one direction, but its our experiences and history that circles around that straight line. Ok thats a little abstract, imagine a straight line. Now imagine a spiral around that line moving forward with the line, kind of like a spirograph. Time moves independent of the spiral, but our lives are on the spiral continually moving in and out of sync, and even overlapping. Using this theory of a life cycle makes me believe that events in life a destined to overlap, the hard part is letting go and allowing the events to overlap.
Life is built by experience, and because of that there is never truly a last time for anything. Each new experience builds on the last. Each new experience has by definition a part of the past. Look at the art world, each new piece has the full weight of every piece of art created before it. It is how we have built this civilization, each old experience giving way to the next. I used to believe that there were last times, but now I don’t. Remember every experience in your life and use it to build new ones.
This project began as a joke. One night during the fall semester of 2008 me and a friend decided to keep the wristbands from going to the bars on our wrist for the entire semester. Well about a week in he quit, which just gave me more motivation to continue doing it. I would catch a lot of flak from people about it. For some reason I knew that there was something more in it, that something could be derived from it.
The semester came and went, I cut off the wristbands and didn’t think too much of it until I was approached by some friends of mine who were putting together a book of images and writing about change. It took me a while to figure out what I was going to do. I remembered that I had taken a picture of my wrist each day of the fall semester, and that by definition it changed depending on whether I went out, or where I was when I woke up.
The piece was built with Processing. I start with the first image and then slowly change it by grabbing pixels from the next image, and replacing the first image’s pixels with the second’s. I take snapshots in time at a constant interval to document the change.
We notice large changes in our lives, and when these large changes happen we tend to look for a root cause. Usually though there isn’t one single root cause of anything, it is all an accumulation of very small changes. In the piece I started with the beginning of my venture and the ending of my venture. There are two changes between them. The start has fewer wristbands and the wristbands are on my arm, opposed to the end where there are more wristbands and they are cut and lying on the table. If we were to look deeper we would realize that there are a large number of steps from A to B, and paying attention to those steps is critical to our understanding of ourselves and others. I think bottom line is that I want people to pay attention to the very small things that happen everyday, and understand that a lot of very small change is what inevitably forces the very big change.