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Saturday, July 10, 2021


I'm working on a new thing. Not entirely sure where it's going, but it's going.

I started out making a couple of signs, the kind you stick up around the neighborhood when your cat is lost, or you're selling a table, or your kid wants to walk dogs for money. Standard letter sized paper, usually some kind of illustration on the top third, then some text, and along the bottom a set of tear-off tabs with some sort of reminder text and contact information. Mine were different.

My first signs were:
  1. a photo of a car; the word "CAR"; and a set of tabs each with the word "CAR" on them.
  2. a photo of me, looking crazed; text indicating that I was OK, tend talk too much, and not to feed me; tabs reading "SOME GUY"
  3. a photo of my dog; text consistent with an automobile for sale; tabs reading "DOG"

I stuck these things up, and photographed them. I am fascinated by photography projects which rephotograph photos, for some reason, so I did that.

Also, I tore one tab off. Since that's what you do, you tear one off as a starter, to suggest that there's interest in whatever you're selling or whatever.

Then people started taking tabs.

"Well, that's weird," I thought, thought I. They took a lot of tabs. My signs get more traction than the actual signs selling shit.

Which is kind of a dick move? Am I putting the boots to kids trying to run a dog walking business, or am I increasing interest in stuff stuck to telephone poles? I dunno.

Regardless. I made a few more surreal signs, one offering free tabs, and a pair about a lost photo of a dog, and a found photo of a dog, each featuring a photo of a photo (the same photo) which I then, yes, photographed again. These too got some traction. I am learning about where to place signs, and how to orient them.

My children were enamored of the "free tabs" sign, and one of them made her own which I put up next to mine. First, I wrestled with this intrusion on my project but then I decided that it was about community and interaction, so, onwards! I stuck hers up, and people have taken some of her tabs. She sometimes writes her B's backwards, so technically they are "tads."

I keep photographing these signs, as the weather and community interaction gradually dissolve them, which takes a surprising amount of time.

Having struggled a bit with how I can do something with the community interaction, I've put up a couple polls. Chocolate or Vanilla? Dogs or Cats? with tabs alternating the two choices. Chocolate and Cats, by the way.

Having trained people to answer polls, I think I'm going back to surreal, but with polls. Dogs or Chocolate? Yes or No? Cats or Yes? but that's for next week.

I don't know how appealing the photos are going to be, but the essay should be entertaining!


  1. da besht! [stone seal]

  2. Replies
    1. Pfft.

      Ye of little faith. You'll be first in line to buy it!

  3. Put one up with LSD on the tabs

  4. To some people it probably seems like an advertising scheme, as in, "Watch this space for ..." with a new pizza place eventually being announced (maybe with pictures of dogs on the walls).
    But my first thought was that it is a great tale, and I enjoyed reading about it, and am considering trying it myself, but the photography project part doesn't sound promising. But when I say that of something it typically wins a Peabody, so good luck.

    1. I do not think the photographs will be even slightly interesting as standalone photographs ;)

    2. sounds like a slam dunk MFA. Jörg will be in touch.

    3. Get your checkbook out, this is gonna be hella expensive.

  5. My God... Do you realise what you've done? You've become ...an *artist*!


    1. Whatever next, duct tape and banana?

    2. I will duct tape a urinal to the wall.

    3. You'll need a lot of duct tape to hold up a ~60-lb. urinal (yes, I looked it up). Be sure and have some steel plate-soled boots for when it smashes to the floor. Broken porcelain is extremely sharp, and it'll be in a gazillion pieces...

      Also, I assume you are familiar with Red Green?