The Daily Artifact was a personal challenge to create a drawing, design, photograph, doodle, etc., every day for a year, running from March 25th of 2011 to March 25th of 2012. All 366 of the pieces have been formatted to 12x18 posters composing a 73-foot wide by 7½-foot high wall of artifacts. The Daily Artifact has been exhibited at Space 38|39 in New York City and in several college campus galleries.
Why artifact and not work of art?
The task of creating art is weighty, because art is a verdict. Not everything I do constitutes art, but anything human-made qualifies as an artifact—including print ephemera, or napkin doodles. However, it’s important to note that sometimes artifacts become art.
This project allowed me to purge certain lingering ideas from my system, and through that displacement new ideas surfaced. Because of the ominous daily deadline, I was forced to be less obsessive than usual about the work—focusing on ideas and form, rather than tweaking pixels to death.
The work is intended to function on two levels: 1) from afar, examining the wall in its entirety, and 2) focused attention on a specific poster. Hundreds of individual works, in a single compilation, makes for an interesting compression of space and time. In adjacent posters one might find sarcasm and sincerity, silliness and severity. While the spatial relationship is close, many hours and moods exist between any two works.
Many have asked where the ideas came from. As form begets form—as in the principle of self-similarity—ideas beget ideas. I was constantly jotting down an idea in a notebook that would then string to another. At any given time I might have 1-12 concepts in a holding tank. Other days I found myself on empty, but then while engaged in some monotonous task an idea would present itself. In the case of complete creative-block, I had several go-to outlets, such as creating ephemera for a fictional Midwestern town called Vita. Much in the way that a fiction writer creates characters and narrative for a specific place (i.e., Garrison Keillor’s Lake Wobegon), I created posters (visual narrative) for Vita, which is Latin for life.