With moving comes the evaluation of the materials that accumulate during the course of living. I find reckoning with that accumulation each time I move both fascinating and difficult. It causes me to ask questions about my own material history.
I looked at every snapshot in my possession and decided if I needed it. I began to think that some of the pictures were telling me something about the role that pictures play in people’s lives. I had 36 exposures of a birthday, 36 of my tiny body cap and gown in a sea of undergraduates, 36 equally obscure whale flippers pictured from the deck of sight-seeing boat in Boston—some in bright light and 36 more from another trip in overcast light. I also had light leaks and solar flares and leaves in New England and Niagara Falls, the Tower of Pisa, sunsets, and the Grand Canyon.
With the shredded pictures that taught me something beyond the peculiarities of my own life’s record, I made new objects to share. This remaking is motivated by similar reasons for why people chew on bones after dinner and why some musicians scratch records to produce new songs.