I find a lot of ideas for art projects through word osmosis.
As I begin each solo-biennial process, after I read my thesaurus, I read all the books I find about my theme. Here are the books I am reading so far about memory. Please let me know if you think any are missing…
Whether I understand what I am reading or not (some science- and philosophy-based books are laden with complex equations and thick academic jargon), each chapter is like a shopping isle, its words and phrases and contexts like items on shelves.
I pick off the shelves, words, phrases, and contexts that intrigue me, and document them in my concepts file. A single word or phrase or context can spark an installation idea right away, or later while I am doing something mundane. So, I keep these things safe in my pantry. Here are some phrases I have added to my concepts file after beginning to read about memory:
It has always amazed me, as I am working toward each biennial’s theme, how the things I read about the theme and the theme itself happen to be so prevalent and resonant in my current life. When I chose these themes so long ago, and placed them in the order I did, I had no idea this would happen. It’s as if, somewhere inside me, I knew what I would need and when I would need it.