Pins: Seattle

2004

Three of twenty-five pin sculptures:

On July 2nd, 2004, I began a road trip to Seattle, Washington in my modest Geo Metro. The reason was plainly, to see if I could do it -

and get back by Tuesday, July 6th. I was at that time in the midpoint of my last semester at The Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Denver, CO. Going 1300 miles away to a state I had never been to wasn't something I was supposed to do. I like doing what I'm not supposed to do.

Along the way, I planned to place small sculptures, marking where I had been. The sculptures themselves were comprised of twelve pins; each pin having attached to it a printed letter corresponding to the twelve letters that make up my first and last name.

These letters were cut out beforehand from a found copy of War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy. Why War and Peace? Because, I have never read the book. And, the book is set in a world that I have no personal relation to. But, I knew that I could find myself, literally, within its pages.

I started with the first page of the first chapter, found the first, "J" and cut it out. I then found the next, "U" and cut that letter out. I proceeded with the rest of my first name and last name and started again.

The pins would be used to temporarily hold the letters to the surface they would be attached to. Each sculpture would be very temporal. Each sculpture would be very small. Each sculpture would be very personal. All the sculptures would be opposite to a monument.

My main destination - my goal for these sculptures, would be to place one set of them on top of the Seattle Space Needle - a landmark very reminiscent to a very large pin sticking out of the ground. Aside from this similarity, this choice was fairly arbitrary, I didn't know of anything else that is in Seattle.

I meant no long term damage to anything that I would place these pins in. Rather, it's the harmlessness of the pins that makes me very happy indeed.

Each pin would be documented using a digital point-and-click camera. Anyone with a similar consumer camera and an underpowered car could do the same as myself. Using common materials was an important forethought.

All of the above plans should be not be used by me to answer the question of, "Why did you go to Seattle, Justin?" But rather the question, "Why did you stick pins all over the place, Justin?", should be answered with,

"To go to Seattle."

This project was followed up with, Pins: Pacific Coast