Why I pick up junk
By: Brian Hofmeister

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Sunday, 21-Mar-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
I've moved

Actually, I've moved the found objects blog to www.foundfoundfound.blogspot.com. Please visit me there.

Saturday, 11-Oct-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Signs Signs Everywhere are Signs

Headache Sign
No Toilet Paper
I HATE that song. I HATE hair rock anthems. That said. Here are two signs. I couldn't pick them up (I mean I COULD have, but it would have been ethically problematic), so I just took pictures of where they were. The first sign was found on my friend Joe's street, in Green Point, Brooklyn. Um, he lives on Kent and something. So, just hanging on a tree was this doll holding this sign. Pretty funny. If you knew joe, you'd understand why he needed to be in the picture with it. It's really, you know, him.

The second sign was in the bathroom of the Thai restaurant where we dined that day. I had pad thai. I don't remember what other people had, but everyone liked their food. Joe said he eats there like 3 times a week and I believe him. I like that someone added their own comment to this sign. Proprietary action, maybe.

Friday, 10-Oct-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
The red block

Red Block Horizontal
Red Block Vertical
I was walking with my buddy Joe in New York and I knew I wanted to find something. Part of me dislikes WANTING to find an object, but I like to be able to recognize/document the fact that I'm somewhere else. So, there were several wood blocks littering the street all around one of the grates that cover the subway tunnels. I picked it up and looked at it appraisingly. Joe said something like, "you can find something better than that." But I was like, "no, it's perfect." It's geometric. It's red. It's probably discarded from the construction of something. What's not to like? The pictures are taken on a field of ostrich skin that upholstered the bench in our hotel, the W Tuscany, on 39th and Lexington. Nice texture, huh? I like how the horizontal pic is really blurry. It reminds me of a space ship for some reason. I had a clearer pic, but prefer the fuzziness of this one. For balance, the vertical pic, which has the great striations due to the plies, is clear.

Wednesday, 8-Oct-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
A feather, a tetrahedron and a science paper

baby feather I
Baby feather II
woodrangle I
View all 6 photos...
I found all these on my way back from walking the dogs. I purposely walked along the school yard hoping to find some stuff, which I used to try not to do, but it's been dry and soon the weather will be wet and then snowy and I'll have to start posting things from the archives.

Starting with the feather, which I've photographed on the stone that covers my bathroom vanity (which, obviously, has it's own intrinsic beauty), I can talk about why I appreciate it for a couple reasons. I pick up a lot of feathers, and incorporate them in my work often. They're easy to find and I think they're beatiful. Not to mention they represent birds and freedom. This feather is a little rarer because it's from either a young bird or it's from a part of the bird from which feathers do not often fall. This kind of feather is also very delicate, which you can see from the pictures. They evoke a much different visceral impulse when looking at them as opposed to, say, a long feather from a wing, which is stiff. This kind of feather here is airy and light and soft. Wing feathers have a more concrete shape (yes, the word "concrete" CAN describe a feather), whereas this one obviously seems more liquid or malleable. It seems like blowing at it would alter its shape, which also leads me to believe that this feather is for warmth, and not for helping to hold a bird aloft.

The tetrahedron (please let me know if that's improper geometrical nomenclature - I tried looking it up [sorta]) I enjoy for it's geometry, and I've photographed it on a field of mosaic tiles. Sort of a geometry on geometry. More specific than geometry, I enjoy this object for it's assumed relationship to true form. When we look at objects like this, we can't help but break it down into its essential component parts (this is actually one of the first things art students are taught: to break down what they see into more manageable shapes). We see two parallel triangles connected at right angles by several rectangles. Our tendency is not to notice that the two right triangles are actually clipped (at the fattest angle[again, if you know the technical term for the fat angle in a triangle, by all means...]), which makes it not even a real triangle. It's a quadrangle of some sort. So, it's this intersection between the "ideal" shape(s) and the the real that I enjoy. And that's not even mentioning the fact that it is probably just a door stop. And it was probably a door stop at the Pritzker school across the street from my home. And it was probably stolen by one of the little miscreants that goes there as a funny haha prank.

Maybe it was even kicked out the door, causing it to close behind Liz, who's science paper I found. Maybe she dropped it in her jubilant game of kick-the-tetrahedron. Perhaps it was closer to a true tetrahedron before she kicked all over the place, chipping it.

Oh, I also like that the tetrahedron is partially blue, cuz that's my favorite color.

But, getting back to Liz's paper (thank you, Liz, for not putting your last name on your quiz and thusly making me wonder about the moral/legal/ethical ramifications of publishing your work), she did well on the quiz, I think. Whatever grade it was, it merited a picture of a kitty(?) drawn wonderfully by her creative classmate (I can only assume; I don't think her teacher drew that thing). And one of her answers is "I see lots of cool things." How awesome is that? I am guessing this is a quiz about looking at plant cells under a microscope. Interestingly, that paper is dated September 29th, but I've just found it today. You'll notice that her paper has blue in it, too, and the back has orange, which is my fifth favorite color. An interesting thing that happened when I was scanning this and cleaning it up for publishing in Photoshop, is that the orange markings on the back consist of a type of text that I didn't recognize when I picked it up. I thought it was just smudged marker. I haven't been able to decipher what it says yet, and I think whatever it says is actually backwards.

Monday, 6-Oct-2003 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Letter from Shelley Jackson

shelley's letter
This, too, isn't really found. It was sent to me. But its randomness makes it something like a found object. I'm going to attach the link to her site to further explain. Be a word. It's pretty awesome. Maybe I'll post my tattoo once I get it.

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