Today there was PUBLISH and be DAMNED, a one-day independent publishing fair that happens every year and which, they tell us, “demonstrates individual approaches to making and distributing the work of artists, writers and musicians outside of the commercial mainstream through magazine fairs”. I went with some of the Goldsmiths Art Writing people as a kind of school trip.

100 Chairs in 100 Days and its 100 Ways is a book I found there. It documents a project by Martino Gamper to make a hundred chairs in a hundred days, and the book has a hundred pages with a photo of a chair on each. Almost all the chairs comprise parts from two or three other chairs, wound together uncannily neatly, or anthropomorphically, or in ways that make you laugh. A lot of them work more than one way up, with a different sitting position for each orientation, and lots of them have added extras, like a lamp poised point blank on top of the sitter’s head, or an upturned drawer as a hidden compartment under an armrest.

It’s this last one I love the most. Once I spent three days and three nights in a very small compartment with a fold-up bed, a fold-up table, a fold-up basin and a two fold-up shelves, and I have never been happier. I want to make a chair that contains everything a person might possibly need, which would include a section for pencils and biros, a section for teapot, cup and bags, a door behind which just fit a few of my books, a seat shaped to allow curling up or stretching out, and a lamp over my shoulder to isolate the chair from the rest of the room. Around January I was looking for scrap bits of chair to make one of these things out of, and I drew lots of diagrams, but then I made my Raft and found myself elsewhere.

Raft (So I Will Take Us, My Friend)

Raft (So I Will Take Us, My Friend), 2008

But I think the Princelet St exhibition with Valerie would allow something like this to emerge again, if there’s time to make it. I shouldn’t think I’m very good at carpentry. I need to start collecting some things. I’m going back to Inkpen this weekend and may return with chair parts.

This is a separate idea from the work we’ve talked about so far, in which I’ll create small functional objects to place around the room as though they were just left over from the living of it, and she’ll suspend paper casts of these objects above them. We both have to think more about this, and tomorrow I’m going to try to write her a list of some things I’m thinking of making, so she can start thinking about casting them.

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