I realized a few years back that as I approached retirement and spent so many hours writing books, teaching, and doing research, I needed to cultivate a “diversion” that might be both enjoyable and keep me busy after retirement. I looked around and realized that I had several great storehouses of junk to use to create something akin to art. The Psychology Department had cabinets full of laboratory equipment that we stopped using more than 25 years ago and I had a ton of rock ‘n roll records from the 1950s and on into the 1980s (the 90s were a blur and the new millennium has no “albums” so I stopped collecting. So, I purloined a ton of equipment from the lab and spent a summer dismantling each one and separating the stuff into boxes with various common themes such as large circuit boards, keyboards, small circuit boards, vacuum tubes, condensers and diodes, and a whole lot more (sorry to my family that they are piled so high …). My first attempt were mounted on boards and were, in retrospect, I think pretty bad. I did, however, discover accidentally that I could use the floppy disks to make a clock by sticking the clock mechanism through the board from the back side. Amazingly, the clock is still running on its single AA battery three years later! That clock idea led to two more pieces done on two foot by three foot canvases with multiple clocks and a combination of recycled records and computer parts. Anyway, here are links to the four projects that I have completed. I have learned a lot about art and composition although I think that I really know nothing other than what I like. I do like the last one the best and am thinking about doing the next one soon. I am happy to listen to your thoughts — positive or negative — but be gentle. I am not an artist and have always been convinced that my only artistic “talent” is that I can take something that is fairly linear and make a pretty good copy. One Halloween when my oldest daughter was young we needed to make her a costume to go Trick or Treating. As always, we were too late to buy anything so I took a playing card (a Queen of Spades, I recall) and spent the day transferring the front and back to two poster board s and tying them together with string to make a sandwich board as they used to be called. I wish that I had a photo of the costume. It was quite good. So, for nearly 30 years I believed that forgery might be my only artistic future. Maybe I am crazy, but I like what I am doing and perhaps it will keep me busy as I slip slowly into potential retirement (depending on the economy and a whole lot of other financial considerations I could retire anywhere from 2013 to 2015 or even later).
2009: ”Time is on My Side“
2008: “Rock Around the Clock“