My generation’s expectations have been shaped by the incredible books and print media of the past, but our future has been digitized. Leaving The Forest reflects on the disparity between our pre-digital cultural expectations and our romanticism of a ‘place’ that no longer exists as it once did.
Like The New York Times, the lifespan of this very small collage has involved many translations between the physical and digital media realms. Leaving The Forest was made from hand-cut pieces of The New York Times, sanded and glued, then altered digitally, and made back into an archival object, printed on paper with a thicker skin.
Below, you will find some instructional collage pieces, to help you decode the news.
*For the befuddled yet inquisitive mind, here is an abbreviated set of examples of ways these images can be read:
“Washout”, by photographic standards, is too dark, so you have to mentally “wash out the image” to see a proper picture. OR it’s a bunch of hum-drum looking people (washouts) going into a building. OR the building is called out, so they might be janitors, following the instructions in the title to “wash”.
“Walk to Remember” … the figure is alone, so…. OR it’s a play on the old tradition of tying a string around your finger so you don’t forget something. But the string is tied around the figure, so it’s a note to remember the self. OR the finger is pointing upward, so the figure walking in the landscape might be walking to remember something greater than itself. Phonetically, “figure” is almost “finger” without the “n“. When is the set of natural numbers, for example, an infinite set, the “finger” lacking the “N” becomes a figure missing that, so it is an implication of mortality. OR the figure has become just a signifier, literally a pointing finger. Of course a string can also be a symbol of connection, so what might the role of the string in this narrative imply?
“Invest in Something to Hang Under Paintings” is a couch perched on the line. A reference to the old joke that people only buy a painting because it will look good hanging over their couch. Here, the notion is flipped to set the priorities in the ‘proper’ order: buying a couch that matches the art instead of the other way around. OR it’s a note that couches don’t hang: they perch… and so much for buying a couch to hang under a painting. That’s absurd!
In “Denturetainment, or Detournement for Dyslexics”, the teeth (possibly dentures) are being watched on tv, so it’s a simple pun. OR the first title was supposed to be a reference to the situationist tradition of detournement, but spelled in a way dyslexic folks could read. OR the teeth on the tv are trying to eat the dead deer hanging on the wall…putting the little dears watching also at risk if it gets out. And so on….
There are many more possibilities, but …..it’s all in good fun, you see….