Art Drop-Off January 14, 2020

I’m catching up here on my art drop-off doings – though there haven’t been too many, as I haven’t been outside a lot in the last couple of weeks. COLD! Anyway, here is a drop-off from a couple of weeks ago or so.

The weather was mild on this day, though gray, so I decided to walk in my neighborhood. I left some tiles at the Thomas Williams park about a mile from home. Now it’s tennis courts and ball fields on a fairly small plot. In previous times it was the Thomas Williams Junior High School before the building was torn down. The area where I left the tiles was part of the former school’s entrance:

If you step back toward the street here’s a better view. I set the tiles on the section up near the fence, behind the trees.

Art Drop off 1-14-20 (1)

Wait a minute. Has someone else been dropping off art here too? Something caught my eye on the left side of the stairs. I went closer. Look.

Art Drop off 1-14-20 (4)

Not art. I don’t think so, anyway. Shoes! Very tired shoes, too.

Well, there is a story there, yes. I thought about it as I made my way home, but came to no conclusions.

Summer Ends and Yet It Doesn’t

“Endless summer. Someone has mentioned this phrase and at the Museum, it’s true. Also endless spring, fall, and winter. After all, just because the weather changes that doesn’t mean things don’t fall to the ground any more or less. It’s an endless season for us here, ” said Claudia McGill, Assistant Curator in Charge of Seasonal Activity. “The season of giving, the season of receiving, the season of objects on the ground. Year-around celebration.”

“We have a photo here that captures the spirit of – item dropping and finding – I guess you’d say, ” she went on. “We were sent this cute little photo of a baby’s flip-flop. Just the one. Shoe, I mean. Not photo. Or baby.”

Here is the aforementioned item.

A baby flip-flop, for a baby to wear. Isn't that interesting how that works out?

A baby flip-flop, for a baby to wear. Isn’t it interesting how that works out?

It was spotted resting on a post in the park, where it’s been for several weeks, according to park-goer Claudia McGill. “I guess some baby lost its shoe, I would say a girl, from the pink color of the shoe, you know it used to be that boys wore pink and girls blue, back about 1900, but now we have it switched and I wonder how that happened but anyway this shoe is for a girl, I think. Because it’s pink. Well, it has pink on it, and no boys will wear a flip-flop with pink on it. Even though they used to.”

The pathos of this little object, separated from its twin shoe and its baby owner, is made all the more poignant the longer it sits out in the weather and decomposes.

“A cute little baby shoe like this just shouldn’t be sitting out here. It’s just wrong,” said staff member Claudia McGill, who has been observing the shoe for the Museum. “It’s going to fade and get crumbly, I’m afraid. I just don’t want to see that happen.”

But the cultural phenomenon of leaving lost objects in the open in the hopes their owners will find them has a powerful pull on societal impulses. “We must leave it for its owner, that is what we believe, strongly believe, and to go against it and throw it in the trash is just – reprehensible,” said Claudia McGill, Staff Therapist at the Museum. “We cannot live with ourselves having done such a thing, the trash thing, I mean, and so we are forced to witness the slow deterioration of hats, gloves, shoes, hair thingies, you name it, lost and not found.”

Well, we can hope things go better for this little shoe. Happy end of summer. Even if at the Museum the seasons are eternal, well, we out here in the world know better, don’t we? Nobody is going to be needing this little flip-flop pretty soon even if it does make its way home.

Blue Comb Continues to Go Nowhere in Life

The Claudia McGill Museum of Things Claudia McGill Picks Up From the Street When She Is Just Going Along Being Claudia McGill and Doing Claudia McGill Things

is thrilled to bring to the public the recent events surrounding this ongoing expedition.

“A lot of nothing has happened in the past ten days,” says Claudia McGill, chief researcher of the group studying what’s now known as “the Blue Comb” phenomenon. “And we’ve made diligent efforts to document it all.”

To bring latecomers up to date, the Museum has been observing (from a safe and respectful distance) the daily existence of a blue comb that appeared in the Lorimer Park parking lot about three weeks ago. It may have been here earlier than that date, even, but Museum officials are just not sure. A park-goer, Claudia McGill, alerted the staff to this unbelievable opportunity to observe the blue comb and how it reacts to its environment, an alien location for such an object, which should be in someone’s purse or pocket or in a bathroom or hairdressing salon, even.

These words from Claudia McGill, Museum Director, betray her enthusiasm for this ongoing situation. “I admit to waking up in the morning and wondering, ‘what’s the comb doing right now?'” she said.

Museum goers can participate in the expedition from a distance by following updates, although of course the Museum anthropologists welcome actual visitors. “If you’re in Lorimer Park, please stop by!” said Claudia McGill, expedition technician. “I’ll be happy to give you a tour of the site. The park is open 7:00 AM – 8:30 PM now, since it’s summer, so there is plenty of time to take it all in. No special shoes or dress is required – the site is very accessible.”

Enough talking. How about some views of the comb? you might be asking. Coming right up.

May 26th was particularly noteworthy day. Take a look at these pictures and you will see why.  Museum technicians cautiously approached the comb and got it to turn over for a minute. Notice the difference in color from the side normally facing up. This characteristic is known as “fading” and reveals the action, however slow, of the sun and the weather on the comb. Outstanding!

After the excitement of the previous day the comb was very quiet on May 27 and May 28.

On May 29, the comb was approached by Claudia McGill, expedition supervisor, wearing pink sneakers (notice that her left foot is no longer in the boot she was sporting as a result of her broken foot. Healing has been occurring, and she thanks everyone for their good wishes) in an attempt to interest the comb. The attempt failed to motivate any kind of change. “That’s OK,” Claudia McGill said. “The comb is just showing that it isn’t interested in conforming to society’s expectations of social interaction with other members of society. I think it’s a healthy sign.”

Fascinating Case Study of an Object in the Public Domain

The Claudia McGill Museum of Things Claudia McGill Picks Up From the Street When She Is Just Going Along Being Claudia McGill and Doing Claudia McGill Things

is commemorating fishing season with this photo essay exhibit entitled

“Where Have I Been? Where Am I Going?”

Consisting of a series of photographs by noted photographer and philosopher Claudia McGill and made over a ten-day period in September, 2014, the pictures chronicle the journey of a simple pair of green slip-on sneakers in their existential search for resolution and meaning in the midst of society’s indifference.

Shoes Sept 2 #1 small

“We’re so lucky to have these pictures. It’s very rare to glimpse an object in the process of abandonment, ” said Claudia McGill, curator of the exhibit. “Usually we encounter them only after they are dissociated from their initial environment. We don’t get to see the actual – departure, let’s say, of the object from its home base.”

These shoes made their appearance in the parking lot of Lorimer Park and over the next ten days their movements were documented. The exhibit brochure states, “Objects have their own lives and we as humans are merely participants, fringe participants at that.”

“Truer words were never spoken,” said Claudia McGill, enthusiastic viewer of the exhibit. “These shoes showed a lot of guts just enduring a situation like that, I think.”

And the fishing season connection? Anthropologist Claudia McGill (self-taught and proud of it) puts these ordinary green sneakers in context. “Most likely some guy was fishing and using them to stand in the creek. Then when he came back to his car, he took them off, sat in the seat of his car to put on his regular shoes, and then slammed the car door and took off, just leaving them to sit there in the middle of the lot. If you can believe someone would do such a thing – I know it’s hard to stomach.”

Poor little shoes. But we are lucky to have their silent testimony, says photographer Claudia McGill. “I felt compelled to document their journey. And like so much in life, it’s inconclusive. We don’t have one bit of an idea of where those shoes are today, do we?

Follow the shoes on their journey. Walk along with them.



The shoes appear – September 2.

September 4. Notice the entrance of the leaves to the scene.

Shoes Sept 4 small

September 8. At some point the shoes have left the middle of the lot and moved to the side.

September 10.

Shoes Sept 10 small

September 11. They are gone and have not been seen since.

Shoes Sept 11 small

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