Working Libraryenvisions the Library as both keeper of books and collections, and as a living, flexible platform for ideas. Working Library is asking questions – What is the role of the library in the evolving contemporary art scene? How does publishing manifest as an artist practice? How is the library a place of public voice?
Working Library is a cultural commons; a neighborhood “living room” in the spirit of placemaking. The project will engage the concept of a library through two threads; a site of production and a program for participation, purposefully engineering creative overlap.
The workspace includes a printing press, bindery, and design studio.
Inspired by the humble pencil, artists Rory Sparks and Catherine Haley Epstein have created an homage in scent. The scent was created with a nose on a box of Blackwing pencils, and the ideas of freedom, focus and unlimited possibilities in the head. Throughout history and to this day millions of incredible design projects start with the pencil. It’s with this guiding principal we present “No. 2” the first fine fragrance, hand-crafted and meticulously packaged in honor of the pencil.
Unlike the mysterious number 5 attributed to the abstract fragrance minted by Coco Chanel in 1921, “No. 2” is an unapologetic and literal homage to the number two pencil. Yellow paint, splintered wood and metallic graphite serve as the springboards. The scent is made entirely of natural components of trees, leaves and citrus.
The Pole Lathe for Lovers is a tool for communication, concentration, and cooperation. Lover A and Lover B choose their chisels, and position themselves on either side of the lathe. As the lovers activate the treadle, the cord rotates the billet earthward on the down action, and as the sapling acts as a return spring, the billet rotates skyward. The reverse is true on the opposite side of the lathe. Each lover takes a turn cutting the wood while it is spinning earthward in relation to their stance. They pause as the wood spins skyward and their partner makes their cut. This synergistic effort is necessary for the efficacy of the tool. There is no way to gaze into each other’s eyes because of the extreme concentration involved in this kind of work. One must not move their eye from the cutting edge of their chisel! Difficulty and possibly even danger may ensue. Extreme concentration and cooperation are needed to complete an object. The lovers should not speak, or argue with their voice. However, they may use the sound and motion of the sapling to communicate with each other. It is also possible to use telepathy and inter-species communication if the lovers have these skills. It is important that the lovers work together in unity. As they work, their breath begins to synchronize, and then do their heartbeats. Single-mindedness is the goal. The object should never be planned before stepping up to the lathe. It will take shape in the minds and hands of the lovers as the work progresses and responsiveness to each other creates a convergence of shape. The form erupts from the billet as the lovers progress in mutual effort and silent collaboration. Two lovers can complete an object in half the time with twice the love, sometimes more.
Dust to Dust
I am making my last will and testament. The project will be ongoing, until I die.
I am collecting my dust and bequeathing it to my loved ones. And as my terminal instruction, I am asking them to re-scatter it.
I am making a set of cards that I can use as a reflective practice. I am letterpress printing a small text about dust, and will write on each card to each person as I collect my dust to add to the card. The cards will be numbered and archived, and will be a legal document, managed by my executor. They are housed in a pine box as a secondary reference to anonymity and lack of wealth. The cards will exist as an archive of dust until I die. Then the archive will be dismantled and dispersed, just as we disperse into dust as we shed our skin, lose our hair, breathe, and decay.
I consider this the second in a series of Tools for Love. The will is a tool for being present and showing appreciation for those in your life. A tool for reflection and action. It will remind me about what is important, and also what is fragile. It reminds me that our bodies are borderless and permeable, and that the traces we leave behind are as well. I am meditating on value, ownership, and memory, as dust is often associated with the lowliest things, of poverty and smallness. In a spare yet intimate gesture, I am giving a piece of myself, quite literally, to those survived by me.