There is a dark line that appears at random latitudinal locations on my deposit slips at work. And occasionally, the scanned image of a check will stretch and warp as a corner clips into the edge of the scanner at the wrong angle and the check jams.
I work with people’s checks all day long. I work with a Canon scanner and a Canon photocopier/printer. The other week, I faced a paper jam in the printer and had to explore its innards (unsuccessfully, without help) to clear its digestive tract.
It wasn’t until reading Writing Surfaces that I thought about these pieces of equipment in terms of art.
For some reason, I hadn’t recognized the potential for process as product in art in my everyday life, even though we have been touching on it during almost every class. “Traces” in particular helped me recognize that the errors of a photocopier can produce an artifact that is itself a message about the media or any number of related topics. The dark, smudged copies tantalize a reader with the semblance of words, but they are so distorted that the reader can only guess what the text originally said. That frustrated understanding is an experience of the piece. I would be tempted now to collect and collage the various technological deviations that I find at work to study the ways in which even our financial media are shifting to reflect our identities, if I didn’t think I’d get fired (they probably don’t want me taking home check images or deposit slips). Then again, any ‘shredded’ media project could produce interesting or fruitful results towards a research question.
Drat. I keep thinking up a dozen new project ideas a week for this class, and all of them seem exciting in some way. It will be difficult to pick one idea to narrow further.