Friday, May 22, 2020

"How Are You REALLY?!" - Artist Statement and Materials...

Update: The  sculpture is registered at, but the wifi in my quarantine bunker is too shitty to sustain a connection. I will keep adding photos here, and you can leave your messages in the comments. See below for details!

Artist Statement

This roiling mass of probing sincerity, unsolicited frankness, and ironic tentacles hangs under a skylight in Columbia Heights, DC -- and hopefully soon can be found in its own Jitsi tent (“REALLY”) adjacent to Camp Tasty.

The sculpture changes aspect with the daylight and will be lit up at night. It will also evolve over the course of the weekend, based on contributions and instructions from participants.

How to Interact with REALLY…

Bring a Sharpie – ok, comment below – to add your message. I will letter your bespoke graffiti on the sculpture (and make any suggested additions or alterations… Substitutions may apply, but we will do our best with the materials available in our quarantine bunker).

All participant interactions will be captured in still photos, to appear here at the EFAC blog, as well as in the “live” video of the Thing itself [if that happens]. You can add your Burner name, or sign/tag the Thing with the moniker or symbol of your choice.

You do NOT have to answer the question “How Are You REALLY?!” in your message. I originally seized on the title ironically, in a personal recoil from its potential for boundary-pushing (“I already said I was fine!”) BUT… as with many of the things we enjoy ironically, I may also have been wistful for its earnest potential, as an invitation to be vulnerable/honest/unguarded/uncensored. I invite you to take that interpretation if it feels good/safe/cathartic for you to do so.

Please include “[BURN THIS]” in your comment/text if you want it to go on a separate paper flag to be removed from the sculpture & burned on Sunday night. The Thing itself is made of many commingled materials* and is not safe for burning; it will remain as an artifact of these strange days, and we hope to display it at some future nonvirtual event!

*Many Commingled Materials

How Are You REALLY?! includes or contains…

Balloons. Rubber bands. Old bra straps. Bones of unremembered origin. Masking tape. Elastic. Rope? PAPER: book pages, newspaper, junk mail, scrap paper, notebook pages, envelopes. Glue. Cardboard, including the obligatory toilet paper tubes. Wire. CelluClay. Zippers. Paperclip(s). Bra underwires. Champagne cage wire. The inner ring from a “female” condom. Foam rubber. Dead rose parts. 1 chess pawn. Cocktail stirrer(s). Twist-ties. Bobby pin(s). Toothpicks. Elastic cord from a discarded camp chair. Saw blade. Used duct tape & last year’s window plastic. [Tubing from a gas stove?] Bits of dried acrylic paint. Umbrella ribs. Notebook spirals. Old fishnet stocking [filled with dryer lint?] Rusty springs and found metal bits. Mattress boxsprings. Found, broken jewelry. The brass ring from a ceiling fixture. Kite string. Other string. Bedsheet scraps. Coat hangers. Clothesline.

Note: Since this is mediated, bespoke graffiti, my needs for radical self-reliance, radical inclusion, civic responsibility, and/or sleep (as well as my poor drawing skills) might override some specific instances of participant self-expression. (No hate speech, no commercial messages, no threats of violence including self-harm, no diet/weight messaging, no references to Blumpkin/Tuppence or other horrible public figures – in fact, preferably no proper names except yours and/or those of loved ones you want to shout out or memorialize.) How I am really is kinda fucking fragile on some levels, as I’m sure many other folks are feeling too. Please try to go into this with compassion. Thanks!


Anacharsis said...

Regret is the black box of a conscience, helping to prevent future disaster.

Ben said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ben said...

You may be proud, wise, and fine, but death will wipe you off the face of the earth as though you were no more than mice burrowing under the floor, and your posterity, your history, your immortal geniuses will burn or freeze together with the earthly globe.

[Please write it really small along a tentacle or two. Quote by Anton Chekhov, but I think it's better to leave it unsigned; who cares if it's what he would have wanted.]

Thanks! Ben

flightless said...

Done! Excellent.