6 minutes 18 seconds, no sound
In 2006 and 2007, I volunteered as a literacy educator at a Detroit elementary school. The school principal thought my time would be better spent as an art teacher (like so many public schools, this school had barely any money for art classes). For this particular project (one of a few teaching projects I did there), I created images of everyday detritus which gave way to a hidden face – a monster, nicknamed “Dark Fire” by the kids; the students had to create related drawings in order to bring about the next image in the sequence. Of course there’re messages here: of finding mysterious things in the everyday, and of the power of art to gain access to new worlds, but there was another message, too. While configuring things from the local environment into different forms, I was thinking of how written language creates worlds of meaning from a rather limited assortment of raw material (letters, numbers, punctuation). In some small sense, I was teaching language.