Sunday, September 23, 2007

Three Years of Documenting the Yards of Clutter 9/8/2007

Another week has passed and I realize that I failed to note the third anniversary of this site. I began this journal back in August of 2004, never sure how long intended to do this or what would become of it. Three years later I have had two galley exhibitions from this work, some very good press and a lot of responses from people around the globe. I had hoped that by this time I could have worked some sort of book deal with the photographs, which now number over 4,000 but I have yet to seriously pursue this.
In the Lake Claire and Candler park communities near my home I am routinely recognized as the guy who takes photos at yard sales. In the long run I have perhaps seen too much. More and more I will see the same items passed from one yard to another or reappearing in the same yards and driveways every year. My world-view has become skewed since I have spent so much time looking at used merchandise. I am not one to spend much time in retail establishments but when I do wander through the aisles of some behemoth chain store I have visions of what will soon move from the store aisles into the yards of clutter. I sadly observe those items with a taint of being over the top, useless or practical only as a gift. Things that are interesting when they are given but useless and impractical the next week. I see on store shelves future of obsolescence, ugliness covered with a tin veil of trendyness as well as gross uselessness pushed onto the consumers with marketing savvy. Sadly it all seems to be made in China at cost that almost put yard sale sellers to shame.
Time also travels at a different pulse at yard sales, If were to chart over the last twenty years the declining frequency of some unwanted devices or clothing it would serve as a time line of failed consumerism. The hot-dogger or electric knife once a staple of sales as well as thrift stores are now endangered species. Some day the George Foreman, and the CD player may walk this same path.
Regardless I continue will continue my pursuit of the discarded and divested.

Glendale Ave. Candler Park “Yard Sale”

Here the sellers recognize me as the person who took photos of their clutter either one or two years ago. This was the yard where I found the large photograph of Atlanta politico Cathy Wollard, whom someone wrote in wanting to know if it was really a photo of Elton John. The image of Ms Wollard is no longer offered for sale instead I fid a diverse collection of clutter that included a peace symbol made of bottle caps, a six pack of Harley Davidson beer, women’s clothing, bowls made from old lps and a pair bicycle tires. Some books here include “Up the Down Staircase”, “Revenge of the Lawn”, “Flatland”, “Dress for Success”, “The Communist Manifesto”, “In Search of Excellence”, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and “Man’s Search for Meaning”.
I bought nothing.
Old media put to a new use.

Unbuilt Atlanta - Eyedrum

That evening I participated in “Unbuilt Atlanta” a group exhibition at Eyedrum. The show featured unbuilt architectural dreams for Atlanta. My entry “Grand Lago de Atlanta” consisted of plans and developmental schemes for a major lake to be constructed where the downtown expressways are located. The proposal was met with great approval but like the Nicaraguan trans-continental canal I do not know if this grand scheme will ever see it’s way out of the gallery.

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