Friday, May 1, 2009

DisCo - the big reveal


In January I decided to embark on a project that I had thought about for a long time. What would happen if I created an "art bundle" and placed it outside? What if nature were my partner in a collaboration?

I have always been fascinated by the impact of natural elements, of age, and of time, on materials and objects.

The rust of a washer found in the street.



















The yellowed and dog eared pages of a vintage book.













The faded and weathered look of an old, painted building.














The layers and paper fragments of an old billboard.



















The distressed look of metal left out in the elements.














So...I made a simple bundle using vintage dictionary pages, gesso, and string. No more and no less. Outside it went. With rain. In snow. Through hail. In sunshine. Under clouds. In the dark. I watched. I waited.





As I thought about the process of disintegration, I saw it not as destruction. Or decay. Or death. But as renewal. Change. And life.

And a funny thing happened. Just as my bundle was undergoing a rebirth and metamorphosis, so too did the project. My simple idea became a collaboration. And grew. The Disintegration Collaboration was born. And ended up being 123 artists strong! Bundles were everywhere. And suddenly, the thought of a rainy day did not seem so bad after all!!

As the months passed, it seemed that my bundle did not change at all. But when I see the before picture and compare it to the after image, I see that I was wrong. The changes are there.

Before:


After:


Details:




Beginning today, all participating artists are revealing their "afters" on their own blogs. The links to each artists' "before" bundles are on the sidebar of my blog under the "disintegration collaboration - before" link. At this point, to see their "after" pictures, click on the banner of their own blogs and this will take you to their most recent post. Depending on when you look, you may have to look at a few posts until you find their disintegration post.

As artists begin to post their bundles, I will also be adding their links to my sidebar under a new, "disintegration collaboration - after" link. That way, you will be able to go directly to either the "before" or the "after" shots. I will be adding links as I find them, so that it will be easier for you to keep track of which blog posts you have seen over the course of the weekend.

I hope you will all take the time to see both the amazing bundles created by this incredible group of artists, as well as the impact of nature and time on these bundles. And don't forget to leave some comments along the way!

Stay tuned for more posts about this project in the coming days!

70 comments:

Lynn said...

Seth I am impressed with the time and energy you continue to put into this project...befores/afters/links etc.

I will photograph mine sometime tomorrow and post it. Now that I realize it is not time to "open or untie them" but simply to post the still hanging bundle.

We are expecting a late in the year rain storm on Saturday and you are right I am excited about another drenching with possible increase in deterioration! LOL Mine really does still look like its original state!

I'm listening for the drum rolls as the others from around the world reveal their "after" bundles!

Robyn said...

These photos are a feast for my eyes Seth. My disintegration post is up. What a fun project this has been. Can't wait to see all the results. Come on everyone wake up and show and tell. I've been up since sparrow.

Lisa Sarsfield said...

Thanks for organising this Seth! My bundle's been revealed:) I have been looking forward to seeing the insides of my bundle and I am a bit surprised but not dissapointed! I will definately be part of part 2. I have been following your blog since i discovered it and like what you do here!
Be well!

DymphieM said...

your bundle is so very cool, love the photos you took of it. Thank you for putting all the links in one place, it will be a feast to go bloghopping the next couple of days.
My reveal post is up:
http://papierenavonturen.blogspot.com/2009/05/desintegratie-onthulling-disintegration.html

Kathy McCreedy said...

Hi Seth! AHHHHHH! May 1!!! It's finally here! I'm not at the same house where my bundles are (yes, bundles,...I had to put out a second, much more tidy bundle), but I will go photograph them and send you a link. Thank you again for this fun an interesting collaboration. Happy May Day! xoxo

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

I can't believe it's time to do the big reveal! I have to say that being part of this collaboration has really made me aware of time and the changes of the seasons. And yes, it made me happy when we got a good downpour ;-)

Thank you, Seth, for your creativity and your generosity in sharing so much of your art with us. It has been such fun playing along.

Cheers from England!

Anne, Bulles dorées said...

I posted it this morning. Thank you for this project, Seth.

Morning Sun Studio said...

your project turned out great-thanks so much for doing this and deciding to invite the world to join you...my project didn't survive very well but I think there is still something to work with..here is the link to my post
http://morningsunstudio.typepad.com/morning_sun_studio/2009/05/complete-disintegration.html

jaihn said...

Thank you Seth for creating and nurturing this fine project!
My bundle vanished for a few days -
but it reappeared, and I've posted some pics today.
xxx

jennifer lorton said...

I posted about my "after" this morning, thank you so much for the inspiration.
Jennifer
http://blog.jenniferlorton.com

Evangeline said...

This is such a cool project!

3rdEyeMuse said...

even before making it here to NY, I have visited traveled throughout the country (and abroad) and seen some pretty incredible changes.

thanks for hosting this great project, Seth ... it's been great to simply be a bystander. :)

Chris said...

This is so exciting!

Lynn said...

Okay, it's posted! http://lynn-nonameblog.blogspot.com

Stephanie said...

Seth,
How wonderful to be able to see the results of time and nature...I agree the changes may be subtle, as life changes are many times, but the effect of time is always there.

Great Project! happy to be a part of it!

LostLuggage said...

Great pictures, Seth!!

Mine will head back into the earth this afternoon...hard to get the worn look I dream of in the country out here...

Dawn Sellers said...

I just posted my reveal. This was a great way to get through the rainy winter and spring with positive thoughts. Looking forward to seeing everyone's results. Thanks for a great project Seth!

JonesMoore said...

Wonderful!! Been meaning to do this for years...now I will. You MUST be familiar with Rosamond Purcell's book, "Bookworm", which shows her rich 'art of decay'...it's fantastic!

Maj said...

Hi Seth, it has been so much fun to follow this project and seeing the progress of disintgration. So many people have come up with the most incredible ideas, and I just love to be in a community, where a creative spark can turn into a roaring fire of art. So much fun and inspiration! Thank you Seth, and thank you "disintegrators", I look forward to seeing the "afters". I took photos today and shall post them asap.

*jean* said...

Seth - thank you for putting this spark out into the world...what a wonderful way to spend the winter...I may do this every year!!! I have posted my unveil

http://bluebirdslivinginthemeadow.blogspot.com/search/label/DISINTEGRATION%20PROJECT

and plan to do more after my stuff dries a bit...hope you'll come and visit...

I can't wait to see what you (and everyone else) makes with the results...off to visit now...

Gail P said...

My bundles are now posted. Ideas are racing around chasing my brain cells into overload! Lots to be gleaned from all of the bundles that have been unveiled, can't wait to see them all.

Kim Mailhot said...

I love that you brought DisCo back, Seth ! ;-)I love that you and all the particpants had nature as your biggest collaborator. And I love that we are all celebrating that art can be created and found everywhere and anywhere !

Happy Reveal Day to you all ! Looking so forward to checking out all the bundles of art !

herminesplace said...

This looks absolutely great. I posted mine today.

La Dolce Vita said...

There is nothing more fascinating or beautiful than patina. Love your work, love your collaborations. Bravo

Terry Rafferty said...

This was worth waiting for! One of your most beautiful posts, and perhaps one of the most thought provoking. I'm looking forward to exploring the posts of everyone else.

Judith. ..de Santa Fe said...

Thanks for putting this together, Seth - it's been great fun .
Every time the sky clouded up, I'd do a rain dance. Alas --- we still had a drought!
I'll look forward to the next phase -

Jjjjj

ooglebloops said...

Here is my "after"- not much change- but in it NOT deteriorating much - it speaks for recycling!!! Imagine if this bundle was in a dump somewhere- it would not disappear into the earth- it would still be hanging around a year later!! LOL So, recycling it into something else will be doing Mother Earth a favor!!!http://artfullyooglebloops.blogspot.com/
It has been fun to be included in a group where the creative spark is a raging flame!!!! Thanks for doing this!!!!

Lani Gerity said...

I've posted my wet, seaweed covered disintegrating bundle! Excitement builds as my pages dry on top of the wood burning stove. Keri Smith's book
took a beating! But it should be great fun to work in! Thanks so much Seth for all you are doing!

http://lanipuppetmaker.blogspot.com/2009/05/disintegration-and-beauty.html

Candace said...

Once again, you leave so many in the dust by simply doing and being. I have no words, each photograph, each image leaves me at a loss for words. This has been so wonderful even on the fringe of the crowd.
Thanks for sharing this with us.
Candace

Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

I have posted my evidence and surprised by my emotional response to my book changed and eaten in Nature. I am an aging woman who has faced my mortality and I want to passionately to express my humanity...to those who might take the moment to peer into my aging process. My deepest gratitude to you Seth for sharing this experience with a community that were once strangers. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Supria Karmakar said...

Hi Seth: My reveal is posted...I love your reveal..the difference is obvious and you have such a way with words...I am looking forward to the August 1st second part of this project....for me the disintegration has such magical possibilities..to see what is birthed out of the disintegration...sometimes it may be a gem ...much like many patterns in the universe and mother nature's brushstrokes..S

rachel whetzel said...

Seth, this feels like CHRISTMAS!! I love it!! Here's my update!! HERE

Two Dresses Studio said...

I add my thanks to you in this list as it begins to grow.

I'm grateful to you for the days I awoke and welcomed the rain, wind and snow in what would have otherwise been a very long winter in Southern Alberta. Because of this, I became reaquainted with the child in me that longed for fresh snow to play in or wind to fly a kite. Although the event that lead me to celebrate the 'weather' this year was different, the enthusiasm and spirit was as fresh as it ever had been!

Thank you Seth.
Trudi

femminismo said...

Well, I killed all the slugs and shooed away the beetles. Now the pages are all mine again! The garden looks a little lonely without the tied bundles of paper decaying in the midst of life springing up. But it won't be long before they are forgotten. And they will come to life elsewhere, in another form. Talk about reincarnation. - Jeanne

~*~Patty Szymkowicz said...

And boy Seth did you ever us going! AND there is still so much excitement yet to come! I have enjoyed every step of the journey thus far, thank you for doing what you do and for doing it so darn well! Here is my big 123 DisCo Reveal ;)
Can't wait to check out the bundles of bundles revealed!

http://bitze.wordpress.com/2009/05/01/disintegration-collaboration-after/

John said...

Y0u do have a wonderful life partner in nature/the elements - your package, Art and your documentation is perfect. Highest kudos on your work and your inspiration.

I now realize my garage does not need painting....it is a picasso!

mermaid musings said...

Wow, yours looks awesome!
please take a look on mine:
http://heartandsoulgardening.blogspot.com/2009/05/desintegration-phase-numero-dos.html

Thank you for this fantastic project and experimentation!
you rock!

Mar said...

The 'artist' eye sees art everywhere..in the building that others see decaying, we see the story and want to capture it..in whatever medium of choice.

same with the wonderful bundles you inspired over 100 others to particpate and scatter across the world...to collaborate with ms. nature and create a unique finale
that most likely isn't final at all!
the next stage of this process will BE most interesting
seeing what becomes of the bundles!

some bundles will be sculptural enough to remain just that...i am sure...however i bet there will be a few who see possibilites...

is this so?

AWESOME!!! project seth!

Gillian McMurray said...

Congratulations on the big reveal. Your bundle looks great. Next stop - creation with the papers.

nancy neva gagliano said...

your idea led me into my own personal, happy art/nature drama, and ... now into the shared excitement of my first on-line community.
my very first comment after posting my 10,000+!! reveal photos came from china this morning, and it ended with "happy everyday"....
and it sounds like many of us will be finding new ways to rust things, and bury bundles, and???
so,
HAPPY EVERYDAY!

Ginny Gaskill said...

Hi Seth,
You must have a big smile on your face with the sucess so far of this project. It has been fun looking at everyones posts and the comments that have been made (and this is just after 1 day). Thanks for the fun and inspiration that this is causing. Looking forward to seeing everyones next stage.

Serena said...

A well thought out and wonderful project Seth. Hats off to you for the time that you have put into this to make it work. Your energy and determination must know no bounds! Like everyone else I have found this project fun, intriguing and inspiring- thank you so much! :o)

Compost Studios said...

The name of my blog is Compost Studios and so I completely appreciate "the art of disintegration."

Christine Marie said...

Love your After shots Seth, and the fact that you've brought us all together for this project...I'm off now to see everyone else's After shots. Mine are here http://christinemarieart.blogspot.com/2009/05/disintegration-reveal.html

The Artful Eye said...

Seth,
Grazie Mille! For all your efforts in this collaboration. My post is up
here http://www.artfuleye.com/2009/05/disintegration-collaboration-reveal.html

Excited about the next steps.

Andrea

Jen Crossley said...

Oh Seth,How I have missed checking up on what your up to.Your blog never lets me down and Im in amazement with the results
Jen

Shirley Ende-Saxe said...

This is a phenomenal project and a brilliant idea! Thanks for organizing this and I plan to spend some quality time perusing the links. I was surprised my "bundle" wasn't totally in pieces! Some of it was.....

ps pirro said...

Seth, my "after" image is up. It's a very wet packet of papers, and a little crawl-y with bugs, which is a good thing, I suppose; something in there is nourishing them! And all these great "reveal" shots from all these participating artists are nourishing me, too. Thanks so much for coordinating this terrific project.

Karen Cole said...

Finally posted this morning.

I'm looking forward to spending some time on this nice rainy day, checking out the other work.

Time to rest, Seth.

BTW....did you get my supply list email?

Nikki Lee Anne Ghilain said...

OHHHH love that blue crackle!

Heather said...

What a fascinating idea. I am fairly new to blogging so missed your start date for this project or I might well have been tempted to join in.

BT said...

I will be taking mine down on Friday - can't wait.

Jill Zaheer said...

Seth, what an incredible monumental turnout for "THE BIG REVEAL! What started out as another great idea of yours thinking that nothing surpasses the beauty of nature and time has "materialized" into such a creative, inspiring, and art filled collaboration. You've been able to take your disintegration project and INTEGRATE over a hundred and twenty artists' bundles into such expressive, layered and textured works of art that have transformed "inertia" to create your own ERTIA! Just brilliantly magical!

Kim said...

I think you are going to be so busy with your blog updates now that there will be no time for arting LOL. There's something about patina and aging of objects that just has you stretching out your hand to touch them isn't there? The bundle looks great but I'm keen to see further developments Seth. Now off for a cruise around some of the other sites. I fear I will become attached to my chair for a while now :)

Rein said...

What a great project!

alteredbits said...

i love your after, especially the upper left corner. i cannot wait to see what masterpiece you create with it. it will undoubtedly be breathtakingly gorgeous.

i've just posted my "afters" a bit late (sorry!). i did take the photos on the 1st though. :)

thank you again for all of your wonderful time and energy -- i have enjoyed this thoroughly and cannot wait for the next part.

amy said...

Most of mine blew away so I am jealous. :)

diane said...

Hi Seth...mine is posted! I am so excited about the results I am seeing. But even more, the completed pieces of art that will be born in between now and August 1st! Mine will "hang" more more month. And then~the FUN begins.
You can see it here:
http://rosa-josies.blogspot.com/2009/05/results-revealed.html

Terry Rafferty said...

One of the things I am surprised/fascinated by is the LACK of disintegration in so many of the bundles! I expected to see things reduced to useless crumbles. As everyone begins to use the pieces in new works I would love to hear comments on what materials changed significantly but were still intact, versus materials that didn't change or didn't survive.

Little Brown Sparrow said...

Wow! What a fabulous project, and so great to see the amount of people who joined in! I can see I'm going to spend far too long tonight looking at all these project results! Paper can be stronger than we think outside- I did a project back in university where I tied wooden panels of pasted paper to a tree. I hoped they would disintegrate in time for my end-of-year exhibition- but they didn't! In fact I still have one, 15 years later. :)

Dayna Collins said...

I've joined the ranks of the "after" crowd. Photos are posted, a smile on my face. Thanks!

Leslie Avon Miller said...

They are everywhere! Everywhere I go in blog land there are disintegration photos! What a fantastic project for all ,and congratulations to you Seth for organizing such a large artistic movement!

dryadart said...

Finally I got around to posting an update... http://dryadart.wordpress.com/2009/05/05/so-much-to-talk-about/
thanks for the opportunity to play along, am waiting with baited breath to see how they become new things!!

nelda ream said...

Seth, this was such fun. Thanks for letting us participate with you.

Shayla said...

I really like the way you talked about this project- as a renewal and a positive way to look at change and "rainy days." A wonderful message, Seth. Uplifting. I've been enjoying the various "reveals" on blogs around the world.

Wayne Pitchko said...

sorry I'm late...but Ive had a huge cold...first cold in years...but this was a doozy...anyways i have posted my AFTER the snow pics on my Blog
www.waynepaintings.blogspot.com

im looking forward to cruisng ands looking other pieces of art and leave comments....

THANK YOU Seth....and to everyone for taking part in this project...neat stuff

donnaj said...

my before/after are posted too~minus the ants!

fontainefleurie said...

Hi Seth, I have just post my log on my weblog www.dovadi.web-log.nl/fiberfusing. It would be great to join the next step, because I have unwrapped many beaufifull stuff, so there is a lot of inspiration to work out. xDorie

MrCachet said...

Oh for cryin' out loud, Seth! I could spend all day RIGHT HERE! Unbelievable.

Nicole Renee said...

stunning