Current Conceptual Territory

This is a collection of work in progress by artist John L. Mueller of La Grande, OR.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Things that barely work.

So, I was thinking about the idea of "things that barely work" and trying to come up with iconic representations of this everyday reality. What came to mind immediately were things like tennis shoes repaired with duct tape, automobile doors that are kept shut with bungee cords, household shelving constructed out of various hastily painted scrap materials, etc.. However, as I went further and further into the thought, I began to understand that this was the beginning of an enormous and complex conceptual consideration.
What led to this piece was a realization that came to me while eating lunch at a Taco Bell. I was trying to eat my order of nachos with a spork and was struck by the frustrating ineffectiveness of it. There are also things that barely work from the most fundamental design elements. The spork is a nearly perfect example of this. They are too small and made out of weak plastic. Its not a spoon, its not a fork, and it doesn't do either very well. In spite of this, they caught on and now there are there are millions of these things. It occurred to me that the spork is an excellent representation of novelty taking precedence over function. It seems like a great idea, but we all know what its like to try and use one of these things.
So, in honor of this supreme example of the human tendency to value innovation, or almost anything that even suggests innovation, I went to the studio and created a knork.

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