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Thoughts from the First Week of Construction

It’s Sunday morning and I’m at Coffee & Tea Collective in North Park to reflect on the first week of construction for #thewondersound installation in the roughly 60’ x 30’ gallery space on the top level of The New Children’s Museum in San Diego.

 

We made the first pencil lines on the floor, then snapped chalk lines to show where the bottom of the walls will go.  We started with fresh white blue prints, and those now have dirty chalk stained corners from the constant referencing.  (I love seeing the evidence of functional use with things like this) We have made adjustments in pencil to the plans, which later get filled in with pen.  We speak in construction terms, which like many specific skill sets, has its own language...
“Here’s our plate line... It runs flush from this 10’ mark with studs at 16’ on center, with the king stud here.  We’ve got the header topping out at 6’ 7” for the man-door with the blocking extending on either side.”
We have contractors coming in to “frame” the whole structure first, which essentially is like building the skeleton of the installation.  It’s been a lot of fun to speak this language with the guys from Heritage construction to get this skeleton to fit the vision.  Bill, Ernie, and Dave have been in the space with all their tools, and knowledge knocking it out of the park as we slowly build this strange creature of a project.
We used a huge truck with a crane attached to it, to crane the lumber from the street up to the top level balcony of the museum.  Huge loads of plywood, and stacks of 16 foot lumber rising up through the air.  This saved us having to walk all of this up the stairs, which would have been ridiculously tiring, and time consuming.
Chalk lines on the floor show a structure’s foot printPart tree house, part village, part undiscovered world, the creature moves from an idea to objectWe make marks, we draw and adjust plansWe crane in endless sheets of plywood

 

We build up and out, up and out

No longer Planning, we are Doing

 

Ideation to Action

 

So many people on board for this exceptional project

 

Good begetting good

Good leading to good

Good causing more good

 

A crew fulfills the ideas we made - we collaborate - we work together

Years ago, my ripped up jeans, my skill saw, my lumber found in alleys…

Ideas grow, a process changed, a sculpture expanded

 

The workshop series with the Community Centers begins soon

Families making things, learning about themselves and who they are connected to

 Emi, my love arrives

We sleep in a cabin in Maple Canyon

I commute to work via walking trail and skateboard

 

 

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Squirrels

A few days ago I found three baby squirrels, all nearly lifeless with their eyes closed on the driveway under a huge cottonwood tree outside my studio. I wasn't sure what to do, and after all the animal phone numbers were a dead end, I called on the Internet for advice. I made a little nest (aka a box with sticks and leaves in it) and @emisambruce filled two socks with lentils and heated them to keep the squirrels warm. Then I climbed up the tree from where they fell, and placed the box on the roof of the tree house, hoping that the mother would come retrieve them. Once I had them placed, I played an audio recording off my phone of a baby squirrel in peril calling for its mother off YouTube to get her attention. Then I left hoping for the best.... I came back a couple hours later rummaging through plan Bs in case they were still there, but when I climbed up to their box / nest, they were gone! I suppose an owl or other predator could have gotten them, but I'm realllly hoping the mother came and retrieved them. The whole mixture of nature and technology woven together makes for some interesting thoughts. Fingers crossed for these three littles...

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Sunrise at the river.

The river here in Greeley is one of my favorite places. I feel like myself here. I feel like I get re-centered when I walk under the cottonwoods, and look for bird nests. I find phones and stones, and feathers. This morning I came out at sunrise to collect and record the sounds of the river itself, along with bird song, and the sounds of passing keys for the wonder sound project. Here are a few images of the morning.  

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Smuggler's Tunnel

Fort Collins / April Fool's Day / Clear Skies / Cold / Frost / Sunrise /  Cliffs / Coyotes / Dead Goose Wing / Tunnel / Slide / Caves / Bmx Jumps / Railroad Tracks / Horse / Foot Bridges / Botany / Tree House / Donkey / Front Range Mountain View

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Junkyard


So I've decided to have every birthday party for the rest of my life at the junkyard... I had some of the best fun I've had in a long time today exploring through the acres of abandoned stuff.  I climbed a GIANT scrap pile, crawled through ancient cars full is strange things, found a live horse and a live sheep, a rabbit skull, met the real life Mad Max. There are acres and acres of rusty, potentially tetanus filled adventure for all. It's amazing.  I was there gathering things for #thewondersound Project in San Diego and will be driving things out there next month.

 

To top if off, after I dropped the day's finds at my studio, I got to hang with my friend KJ as he did a bit of beekeeping.

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Tombs and Basements

It's snowing again. Yet it's sunny at the same time. It's the Saturday of Easter weekend. I'm thinking of tombs, so I write stories in the basement about far off places.  

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Illustration

Illustrations of plants at the table as the creek continues to move outside the window. I can see a spruce tree, and a cluster of water maples. On the table there are two erasers, two pencils, a sharpener, and a jar for the shavings. I'm in route to refine my visual language for The Wonder Sound. To find how everything fits together. My visual vocabulary is grown daily as I uncover content and ideas from the world around / within me.  

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