It has been a while since we’ve talked about our recent conceptual art project. For those with chronic short-term memory problems (do we know our demographic or what?), a couple of years ago we conned some agency into giving us a big grant to create one of those “temporary art installations” that are all the rage (scoring this kind of “cake” is one of the insider tricks they teach you when you get a “Bachelor of Fine Arts” degree).
We spent most of the dough on crystal meth and cheap red wine in a box, natch, and then had to come up with something at the last minute to justify the outlandish outlay. Since we, like everyone, get a real charge out of getting liquored up and throwing shit off buildings, we thought, “Let’s take that idea to the max,” and the “Log of Hope” project was born.
We devised a clever way to recycle our artistic passion and unused nutrient castoffs in a way that, we hoped, would make a positive change in our community. We envisioned a dramatic event that would inspire our fellow Derm’ites with its symbolic replentishing of our artistic soil, nourishing the downtown renaissance that has been a’bornin’ for lo, these three decades. Even better, given our moral and fianancial bankruptcy, was the fact that it could be done with the least expensive and most plentiful materials known to man.
Then, after the grand vision was in place, all we needed was to find an appropriate building from which to launch our blessed package into the fertile bowl of civic pride.
After collecting our materials for a good six weeks (you can read my abstract about the project in “ARTnews” if you really want to know the gory details) the project came to fruition one chilly spring morning, when we scaled the gleaming towers of the Durham County Jail and “backed our big brown caddy out of the garage” for all of the Bull City to see. We got a pretty good arc on the Hope Log, so it landed all the way across Mangum Street:
And the project was successful beyond our wildest dreams! The creative class-ers were drawn back to the city center like flies to you-know-what, every single building downtown was purchased at an outlandish price by one company, and the Log Site itself has even started sprouting a glorious new building for us all to rally ’round.
I don’t know what this new creative hub is going to be exactly, but I heard a rumor it might be the permanent home of the second traveling company of “Les Miz” or something.
So, all’s well that ends well. Shortly thereafter, someone else came up with another throwing-stuff-off-buildings project that was eerily similar (and infinitely better smelling). But that’s the nature of creativity, man—we all feed off of each other.
Eventually, everything works its way through the system and comes back out somewhere. And we like to think that here at the ‘Shat, we’re picking up those tawny gems off the ground, dusting them off, and serving them back to you on a gilded platter. No thanks are necessary—that’s our job. That’s our passion.