Missing Stories


Sometimes I think of Art as involving missing stories, requiring more work to assemble a narrative in lieu of functionality (the domain of handicraft).


I was thinking about these ‘missing stories’ as I swept around a handmade steamer trunk we found years ago at a garage sale in Oakland. Obviously a production of necessity, the trunk was made for the singular voyage from Havre to New York about 100 years ago. The box has been in the basement of a bungalow most of the time since, but invites speculation  into its past simply because it has survived in tact while there is no sign of the goods it carried in the first place.


Art reduces the boundaries between work and thought. Traditional craft makes the distinction obsolete; both art and handicraft are most robust when the two are fused.