I’m either just about to get this dream kicked into gear, or on the verge of realizing I’m totally nuts. Hopefully.
What is the dream? Well, quite simply it is a cooperative re-purposing factory (with functional and fanciful output) that also happens to be a school of creativity, a laboratory for scientific observation, and a relaxing outdoor environment for vocational therapy.
Getting the chalkboard up to facilitate the factory/school functions and Metal Alley constructed to house materials was super exciting this last weekend. Getting O-R-G-A-N-I-Z-E-D. Here is the current list:
All this and more…
Wanna help? Volunteers will be reimbursed with alternative currency (ATEN Hours), a pleasant experience, and good karma.
I had a few helpers at the RE-aRT studio last OdD SaTUrdAy, and got them to take some Art of Found pictures, too:
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.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 29th, noon ’til 5
2608B Rogers Ave. 78722
This Open House is especially for the Austin Time Exchange Network — members and new members. (We’ll do an orientation to ATEN at 4:00, so you can join up!)
I have long been dreaming of having bustling Work Days with all sorts of people using this space around the duplex I live in as a laboratory of creative exploration, documentation, and transformation. There’s just so much to do! It is a place of freedom as well as challenges, somewhere you can hang out until you find inspiration.
So, what is it again? Well, I have a hard time choosing one explanation. It’s a collection spot for certain kinds of “junk”. There’s a studio, a puppet stage area, a yard, a sweet dog, and lots of cats. The cats are semi-wild, as is the studio.
Some activities that take place here (past, present, future) include: stencil art, scrap wood construction, bottle-building, tinkering to invent, sign-making, garden-starting, mural-painting, stuff-swapping, wig-making, lamp-shade designing, quiet contemplation, cat observation, shade-structure inventing, botanical and other environmental studies, drawing 101, and videos galore.
What I really want to see is: different people learning and teaching, individuals transforming found materials, and video/photo crews documenting change.
Looking for collaborators of all skill levels who want to be part of the Odd Saturdays team!
And if you join the Austin Time Exchange, I can “pay” you in Hours.
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)
Well I just finished posting this, and I’m feeling very accomplished. I’m going to tell everyone.
I really feel like rambling in a free-associative way, but I’m beginning to think I should funnel that sort of thing into performance art. (By the way, the next The Lost Art appearance will be a short thing at Emergency Casserole @ 4:30pm, and after that. . . May 7th at Co-Lab.)
On the other hand. . . why, where did that hand go? Hand? Hand?
Oh yes, I have GREAT NEWS! After long last, and after writing “I need an editor” over 20 times a month, on to-do lists and notes-to-self laying discretely all over the house, I have finally hired an Editor of my very own, Mr. Chad Hopper, who has so many good ideas he really ought to work as a “creative consultant”. As a result, I’ve gotten an Assignment! woo-hoo! Next up, we’ll figure out a deadline for that assignment.
I think this means I’m headed towards some sort of self-publishing project cycle (until my giant boxes of paper scraps are obliterated). See, it is a matter of health. I can’t hold onto things forever, or I’ll be buried alive. Plus, the beauty within these collections is worth sharing, in some way or another.
For now, the bi-annual Journal will go under the name suggested by my editor: ARTFORMATION.
see you soon.