This is a little teaser video of my most recent project, “For The Time Being.”
Last Wednesday, I staged a happening that has been a long time coming. I’ve been preparing since last fall to watch ice melt.
The title refers to two things: the common idiom “for the time being” which means “at this time,” “for the moment.” It is also a reference to a book by Annie Dillard, who is a huge influence on me and whose writing I greatly admire. Dillard is known for her profound observations of her surroundings and her determination to capture the present (which may or may not be really possible, but is a fruitful activity anyway.)
Every Saturday I buy a small bouquet of flowers from Shirley at the farmers’ market, a ritual that has become a necessity for me over the past year and a half. The flowers serve as a reminder to be mindful of the present and to not fear the uncertainty of the future. A reminder so important to me, I wondered if I could make it physical somehow, turn it into something graspable. I decided to freeze my weekly flowers in small blocks of ice, preserving their forms and colors perfectly, but with one major problem. They would have to stay in the freezer. If they were kept stored away, unable to be shared, they would lose their poignancy.
So last Wednesday, I brought them all out, placed them on a shelf in the lobby of the Gatewood building, and let them melt. I watched over it all day and into the night. People walked by, some curious, some not.
I have hours of footage, about 20 jars of ice melt, 20 strips of paper towel (stained with ice melt) and a large box of damp bouquets left over. I can’t bring myself to just throw them away. The melting was a catalyst. Now I have the derivatives of that event and I plan to continue transforming them further and further like an alchemist trying to achieve an essence.
I’ll keep you informed.