Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stuff, moving, and a link to a cool giveaway

Packing to move is forcing me to sort my art and craft supplies. I'm getting rid of a lot and what's left will be much more organized. It will be great once it's all done but for now it sort of feels like a minor amputation every time I toss something into the "donate" box. 

I try to not get attached to Stuff, but my weaknesses are books and craft supplies because they're not just Stuff. The knowledge and imagination in books is worth schlepping a dozen boxes of them from state to state every time I move. (And yes, I also make use of the library.) Art and craft supplies are similar -- they are Stuff with Possibility -- and it's even worse now that I've developed an interest in re-use art because I'm better about seeing potential uses for otherwise ordinary objects. 

I've come up with a little test for what to take and what to leave: 
  • If I look at an object and I immediately start thinking of projects it could be used for, I ask myself, "Do I already use it, or could I see myself using it within a year?" Yes to either and I keep it. No and I put it in the donate pile. 
  • If I think of a project another person could do with an item, I set it aside for that person. If he or she doesn't want it, it goes in the donate pile.
  • If thoughts of potential uses are mixed with hesitations that it's heavy/it's breakable/it's large/I have too many, then I put it in the donate pile.
This process has been successful so far with all but the most unusual items, like my box of blue railroad signal light lenses. I'm not sure I'll use them in 2010 and they're certainly heavy, but I can't bear to part with them. So it goes.

Speaking of re-use art, yesterday Dude Craft reviewed Terry Border's brilliant new book, Bent Objects, and he'll be giving away a copy with a signed bookplate. Check out this trailer for the book, then click on over to Dude Craft and sign up to win. (And when you do win, send it to me! Books about re-use art transcend mere Stuff-ness on multiple levels.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Piano key stairs

The stairs in this subway station in Stockholm have been transformed into piano keys that play when you walk on them. It may be an attempt at a viral marketing campaign by a car company that shall remain nameless here, but even so, it's a pretty damn cool project. And the best part is that they tracked how many more people used the stairs before and after the musical transformation -- an increase of 66%. 

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Illuminate" opening reception tonight at Re:Vision Gallery

Hey Portlanders!

The Re:Vision Gallery at SCRAP is having an opening reception tonight for their newest re-use art show, "Illuminate." There are a lot of great pieces, including some interactive ones, all on the theme of light. I hope to see you there. 

When: Today, October 2nd, 6 to 8 pm.
Where: Re:Vision Gallery at SCRAP, 2915 NE MLK, Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR