1. HARRY BERTOIA
This is an in-camera double exposure I took with a Polaroid Spectra camera of a Harry Bertoia side chair. It has the metal-mesh ingredient of his Diamond and Bird chairs. He designed groundbreaking furniture in the middle of the 20th century. Ole Harry went to the same high school that I did in Detroit called Cass Technical High School. Maybe we had the same locker. By the time I was going there in the 1990s, the seventh floor, the “top of the tech,” had been abandoned, even though there were 4,000 students still attending the school. I used to sneak up there and scrounge around. It was a popular pastime for kids growing up in Detroit; scouring through abandoned buildings looking for whatever you could find. I was a born garbage-picker. Raised by garbage-pickers. I even played on a song called “garbage-picker” in a band I was in once. I plan to teach my kids to garbage-pick as well if they know what’s good for them. In England they call them “rag and bone” people; “mongo” is another good term I learned from the scrap-metal kind of pickers in Detroit. All of them are modern archaeologists. It doesn’t matter how much time has gone by since something’s been abandoned, it’s still an artifact, even seconds later. But putting a relic of any kind back into use, that’s the hardest part. Modern scientific archaeologists of course have no plan to reuse the items they find. I once got ticketed while garbage-picking for not wearing a seat belt. That was by the time I had a car and started driving around doing it. Detroit changed from trash cans to dumpsters to solve its alley rat problem in the 1980s. Then a decade later, it changed to curbside pickup. But it wasn’t like other cities; “curbside” just meant people dumped all of their trash by the street ANYTIME they wanted, not the day before it was picked up. I found drum sets, lamps, paintings, everything. But I once found a chair designed by Alvar Aalto in a collapsed house. It’s reupholstered now and is in my studio in Nashville. But this chair designed by old Harry in the picture, I can’t remember where I got it exactly. It feels like it was a garbage-picked find of mine. Well, aren’t they all?
I did the DVD reviews for filter this month. As you can tell I’m really good at reviews.