Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Sidewalks, Holding Attention, and Merchant Modern | New Hanging Art Mobiles Spinning in Santa Monica

On attention

“Are you hearing what I’m saying?” asked crow.
“The better question,” replied fox, “is am I listening?”

Thoughts while making

Like lightning strikes etched in time, a scatter of colorless arterial veins. Each confined within uniform rectangles of concrete, squares stretching one after another, uninterrupted for as far as the eye could see.

As a kid, I knew every inch of the sidewalk in front of our house. How many steps it took to walk across each section (5 toe to heel). How wide the curb was (the width of two of my 7-year-old hands minus one thumb). How many pedal strokes it took to get from the bottom of my driveway to the corner (4.5).

I knew how fast I had to run to jump over one square. I knew that if I wanted to avoid breaking my mom’s back, I needed to steer clear of the section full of cracks near the rosemary bushes; the same bushes where I caught a bee. In my hands. Got stung, but refused to cry.

I can also tell you the color, too. An impossibly clean white gray, shades of childhood, and fear of what lay beyond. I can tell you the sound a soccer ball makes when you play alone, echoing against the curb, over and over again. How it feels under bare feet or to sit upon it waiting for mom to get home with ice cream. An emotional density far greater than its aggregate parts of water, sand, and cement.

Funny thing is I can’t tell you much about the sidewalk in front of my house now. Or any since childhood. As age expands our geographies, does our focus necessarily retreat? What could you gain right now if you took a moment to think about what was in front of your house growing up?

And that’s the question: what *was* in front of your childhood home?

Merchant Modern carries a small line of my one-off, custom mobiles. Visit their online store or see in person.



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