How to Be an Explorer of the World: Portable Art Life Museum by Keri Smith
“[The residual purpose of art is] purposeless play. This play, however, is an affirmaton of life – not an attempt to bring order out of chaos nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply a way of waking up to the very life we’re living, which is so excellent once one gets one’s mind and one’s desire out of its way and lets it act of its own accord.”
Artist and writer Keri Smith channeling
composer, music theorist, artist, and philosopher. John Cage
“Exploration #36 Grocery Shopping with John Cage (page 105)
“Collect things in your basket based on one variable of your choosing (such as color, shape, size, packaging, foods you’ve never eaten, things you don’t understand, foods that are flat, etc.) You do not have to purchase them unless you want to. Document them somehow.
“Alternate: Make a list of various items (such as every kind of cheese the store sells). Check off the ones you’ve tried. Do a quick sketch of the shapes they come in.”
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“Exploration #43 (page 115)
“Found Paper. One of the easiest things to find in the world is discarded paper. While one lone item may not seem terribly interesting, when you start to assemple a collecion, it can be intensely satisfying to look at and arrange into different configurations…”
“Glue envelope here [page 114 of Keri’s book] for collection purposes.”
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“Exploration #17 (page 63)
“Instant sculpture. Consider that everything around you is a source for sculpture. Try making quick pieces using whatever you have around you in the moment.”
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“Exploration #16” (page 61)
“Survey. Create a simple survey of at least five questions. Give it to a sampling of people. Document the answers in a way that is interesting and readable (for instance, as a graph, spreadsheet, or pictogram).”
#1: “What is your current favorite book?”
#2: “Who would you like to have dinner with?”
#3: “What superhero power would you most like to have?”
#4: “What food would you eat everyday?”
#5: “What is your favorite smell?”
#1: Kane & Abel by novelist Jeffrey Archer.
#2: Someone with whom I share mutual fascination and who has the patience, depth, mindfulness and passion to literally talk all night on a wide range of subjects.
#3: Instantly and spontaneously grow a great head of hair I admire.
#5: The first spray of an adored perfume.
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Life is a scavenger hunt…If you find yourself being questioned as to the reasons for your activities, the phrase, ‘I’m conducting research,’ usually satisfies the nosiest interloper. Expect the unexpected and you will find it.”
– Keri Smith