“It’s incredible how deeply imprinted we are with these damn rectangles,” Hockney commented as we looked at one of those early Grand Canyon collages on its cardboard panel. “Everything in our culture seems to reinforce the instinct to see rectagularly—books, streets, buildings, rooms, windows.”And here I am, taking a series of pictures of a laptop sitting in front of posters above drawers and below cabinets. And all of those rectangles are sitting inside of a larger space called a cubicle. Or, for short, a cube. More than that, I’m attempting to display the passage of time in rectangles of ever-decreasing size on a rectangle inside a cube.* It’s like an ironic version of cubism. Still, for eight hours a day it’s my reality. And, in a weird way, it works, at least in my mind. Mostly because I, more than anyone, get that there is that other layer, the one where I’m actually sitting at that desk and actually working (yes, I do manage to do some of that when I’m not attempting to create the dumbest art form ever). And that, again, was where the words of David Hockney hit me.
“Cubism, I realized during those few days,” Hockney continued, “Is about our own bodily presence in the world. It’s about the world, yes, but ultimately about where we are in it, how we are in it. It’s about the kind of perception a human being can have in the midst of living.”So what can I learn while sitting at my desk every day? How can I better learn how to interact with the world in my cozy, corporate cubicle? Apparently quite a bit about the passage of time and the importance of packing interesting things in to that time instead of just leaving a blank wall where the memories should be. That seems like a pretty good start. -------------------------------- *Also, and this really wasn’t intentional, I just noticed it while looking at the picture, notice the focal point of pretty much the entire scene. The lines draw the eye back to the screen on the laptop. The monitor and the keyboard of the desktop computer create a plane on the right side that takes you straight to the same image on the laptop’s screen. The text on the Peacemakers poster on the upper right similarly slopes towards the laptop. Over on the left side the docking station, calculator, Jessi Lynn’s guitar, and the heads of the members of Seneca similarly form a series of lines that draw the eye back toward the laptop. And, of course, since the lines are duplicated on the screen of the desktop itself the eye is then further pulled towards the screen of the laptop inside the laptop. Also, I’ve been thinking about this way, way too much. Seriously. I think I need a hobby or something.