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“I don’t think art can stand up to nature.”

-Walter De Maria

My assistant Tulip and I went to check on the Museum of Natural Selection and test out the new waders yesterday.
Everything went well except that the Museum was gone.
My first instinct was to blame The Man… Jay-Z and BeyoncĂ© must have made a call to the Parks Department, and the suits had hauled it off to an underground storage facility. But after some serious wading in the post-storm flood waters we found a piece of the wreckage, 40 yards downstream. So this Biblical destruction was probably wrought by certified teenage art critics, with too much time on their hands during Holy Week.
In a way this makes me feel better, knowing that the plastic lobster I pulled out of the stream has been returned to the wild, rather than living out its near-eternal plastic life in a landfill or art gallery. Does that make me insufficiently environmental? It’s a question I’ll ponder on Saturday as I wade in the waters, looking for old and new friends.

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Artists create rules for themselves. Otherwise the euphoric anarchy of unfettered creation would just be overwhelming. I see this in my students and in the two children I am ultimately responsible for; and in my own work:

structure can be a good thing.

But when you make your own rules, when is it ok to break them? The video above shows one phase in a project I’ve been working on for more than a year now. The rules go like this:

Break some things. Recombine them. Break them again. Recombine them again.

Stop when the pieces get too small to glue back together.

Or when I make something too beautiful to break.

But how about a third possibility? This process is boring me to tears.

When is it ok to break my own rules?

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