This Weekend: Ceramic Showcase (plus hamster metaphors)

Yep, it’s Ceramics Showcase season again. For the second year I’ll have work in the main & sculpture galleries, the lobby display, and the Betty Feves tribute display.

The bigger news as far as I’m concerned is that Choreo is finally done. Would you like to have a peek?

The full title is Choreo, in Several Parts.  And this is what it is about.

When I met Joaquin, we were both at the beginning of new careers.  Mine as a teacher, and his as a QA engineer.  Naturally there were many occasions where I would be sitting with him, and I would see his computer screen, and be completely incapable of understanding anything that was represented on it.  It became a kind of a game for awhile, where I would ask him to use hamster metaphors (as in, his computer functions by virtue of tiny hamsters on equally tiny wheels) to help me understand the nature of his tasks.

Sometime-ish last year, I decided to make something that would represent my understanding of what it is he does, which, five + years later, is still almost completely opaque to me.  The idea of trying to capture my flawed and fragmented sense of his totally digital in/output by making a physical book, a book out of carved clay slabs sewn together, seemed like the right kind of mismatch.

I explained as much a while back on this here blog, so all that was really a recap.  What I realized about half way through the project is that it was about something else.

It’s really about how all connection and understanding is fragmentary.  How two people can spend so much time connecting and talking and being together but never actually get past the part where one person ends and the other begins.  That’s actually very sad, isn’t it?  Although by association it implies a kind of individual structural integrity that is possibly heartening.

So, the book is a cipher of the words, images, and numbers that tell the story of J & my personal history, and they will make no complete sense to you or to any reader, looker, whatever. They don’t even all make sense to J.

What I ended up trying to do is to recreate that kind of cryptic encounter. A physical marker of the distance between any two people. This time without the hamsters.

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