I felt a sudden need to document this moment in history via Fernando’s [former] fence.
Former because Fernando is no longer my neighbor. This moment in history, because we are in a transitional space, where new meets old and negotiations, adjustments, and compromises may have to be made. In other words, I don’t know if the new property managers, and tenants, are going to like this wabi sabi style, so it may or may not get painted over.
The long saga of the bottles has gotten exciting again!
And this is an ATEN success story.
I posted a request on the network for help building a bottle wall, including one “expert” in some form of construction to consult with me before the build day. A member forwarded the post to his nephew, concrete builder Paul Adam, who was interested in the project and in the idea of ATEN and contacted me. He ended up coming over and answering all my questions and more, as well as moving a bunch of heavy rocks into the shape of a foundation. In return, I am telling everyone I know to call him if they need fine concrete work done (hardscape, hearth, shower, etc.)!
Two other ATEN members volunteered to help with the build, and one brought along an extra helper, so we were set! Throughout the day, I was reminded of one important reason why I like to collaborate — because it is more likely that the right questions will be asked. For example, I would have totally forgotten to document the process if Diane hadn’t reminded me! I emphasized at the beginning that this was an experiment, so as a result, everyone’s full brain was engaged, thinking of how to make this structure a success.
Slopping the mortar on the wall (with gloves!) was surprisingly fun. The texture reminded Charlotte of cookie dough.
The wall/bench is currently half-way done. We decided to stop for it to dry before adding more weight. I also decided to add some wire mesh into the next mortar layer and in the sides, to reinforce the strength. Finish day will be Feb. 4th.
I’m not sure when my neighbors started saving bottles for me, but it back was in 2010.
A few large parties plus the regular flow of consumption yielded a handsome collection before too long, and Then…
The internet do-it-yourself-ers said, “for sure, use Oxiclean”!
So we soaked them in warm buckets, peeled and scrubbed with rubber gloves, rinsed in the kiddee pool. It’s so fun being outside! Weston observed, and emptied more bottles; Fernando took pictures:
The start of 2011 brought unemployment to Chad. For 3 1/2 months, he had extra time on his hands, so he clocked in to work at the recycling center. The repetitive chore was transforming our pile into a sorted, clean collection, and probably helping with his sanity, too.
When Chad went back to work, the bottle-cleaning factory pretty much shut down, but we already had quite a stockpile of usable bottles. They sat and waited…
** THANKS **
I would like to thank Bunny White for encouraging me to do something with the bottles “Now!” Also of course to all the helpers who worked on this project: Chad, Paul, Charlotte, Mike, Diane, and Katarina. Thanks to my neighbors, Josh, Johnny, Weston, Christina, and all their friends, for donating bottles! For inspiration, I would like to thank Scott Webel from the Museum of Ephemerata, Susan Maynard of Spunky Monkey Ranch (now Further Farm), The Orange Show and Beer can House in Houston, Vince Hanneman of the Cathedral of Junk, the Buddhist temple-builders in Thailand, Earthship-makers, and all the folks who posted information on the internet for me to find out how easy this is. This project is also completed in the honor of someone who designs and builds with light in mind: my brother-in-law, architect Brett Rhode.
…Of posts I want to post, and reasons why I haven’t posted.
One time-sucking convenient reason = Facebook.
Second really big reason = the time I spend keeping this organization going…
But I don’t really care much for excuses; just take this teaser photo and anticipate the deluge to come…
Gee-willickers, TIME is constant. tick-tock. Keeps on moving, just like this wind, here. (I live in the “Blackland Heights” neighborhood of East Austin, atop a hill with an almost constant breeze from the South. Across the street, just downhill a little to the South, is an elementary school. Behind us are the backyards of neighbors, some with shady trees and dense weeds, some with hard-worked garden rows, protected by solid fence. There used to be orchards here, some say… ) Anyway,
Here is our Documentation of APRIL 9th, 2011 (minus a video of a new musical instrument, which is coming soon…):
After Luke (our Participant #1 in the Social art Experiment which is “Odd Saturdays”) tinkered awhile to invent a fantastic use for glass bottles, he spent a lil time in the Studio, tidying up and doodling with the special treasures.
Chad came out for awhile and SORTED. He managed to pop open some deep pockets of time-accumulation, and then he took some scientific-ish shots of these details:
As it was already a hot day, salad with hard-boiled egg and cran-rasp. spritzers were had by all.
In the afternoon, SIGN-PAINTING was undertaken as a serious motion to advance the cause of RE-aRT. Unfortunately for Luke (or fortunately, if he’s into action-adventure scenarios), the master list of JOBS changed
after he had already begun painting. The term palimpsest was discussed. The list continued to change long after Luke had to journey forth into the rest of his day.
I enjoyed the day very much. I became re-aware of how much work there is to do, which is invigorating. And I made this picture:
(check back later for video updates)
can barely stop to post–
Because there is so much going on right now that I am befuddled, I am giving you a non-sequitor title, c/o my dear friend Laura Cyan Anderson.
Art shows! Co-Lab this Saturday; Cheer Up Charlies (East 6th @ Waller) all June; Thunderbird (Koenig) in July: these are all collaborations with Chad Hopper.
At CUC you will find a small installation of a whole bunch of stuff all under the heart-shaped letters which spell out “DNA ERA”. We worked hard in there on a hot day without A.C., so go look at it. It’s kind of like going to the zoo, only it’s a bread factory. In it I express my love for nets, lamps and physics.
The Co-Lab show is an experiment in rules (and the flip-side of that, freedom). It is well explained on the Project blog (link above), so read that if you want to know more. Or, just show up to Co-Lab on Saturday eve if you can.
Finally, July’s coffeeshop show will probably just be a bunch of framed art/collages. I have a surplus of old stuff, but plenty of material to make new ones, too- ahem- art collectors! Take note. Art is important to have in your house. It helps loosen the brain in those odd moments between mundane bits of life, etcetera.
So, enough with words, here are some pictures: