Apology 17: VHS Tape

Tender Loving Stuff
2 Haul Away Blvd.
Trash City
TLS 1H0

Video Home System Tape
Garage/Studio
On the Lane

Dear VHS Tape:

I am sorry that I played you for the last time. While spinning around, you probably realized that you were being dubbed into digital form. Take comfort in knowing that the images and sound you recorded will still be available on my hard-drive. You will be joining all your sibling tapes of all sizes in the dump.

The fact that this happened was beyond my control. You were never meant to be a long-term, forever thing. I am not an inventor of technology, merely one of its many users. Throughout the last fifteen years I have produced videos as part of installations and for personal events. During that time I went through VHS, SVHS, Beta, Hi-8 and Mini DV. I am currently using High Def digital setting on my still camera and dream of purchasing a broadcast-quality camera in the near future. Sometimes I think the built-in web cam serves the purpose. I have edited the tapes on an old Amiga, PCs and MAC using various programs and applications, some of whose names I cannot even remember.

What must you think of me?! How you must have balked at my desertion! You recorded faithfully, with discretion and accuracy, the images and sounds in my life. I trusted you to tell my stories, and to represent me honestly and kindly. I surrendered control of my images and words to you. However, technology marches on. I can only promise to remember you fondly when I use new, better quality memory cards.

Sincerely,

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P.S. I do have some reservations about your cousins in the ubiquitous security cameras. To my knowledge, a lens has never cracked from looking at me. But really, is it my fault that I look like hell when they roll, even when the light is really low? I refuse to apologize if they catch me at a bad moment.

Apology 16: Flower Pots

01IMG_0112Tender Loving Stuff
Haul Out Blvd.
Trash City
TLS 1H0

Dear Flower Pot,

I am sorry to leave you outside all winter. I simply have nowhere inside to store you.

You can thank the former next door neighbor for being here at all. Before he decided to move to a bigger house, we amicably chatted over the fence almost daily. He thought a 7 foot fence would be a selling feature. Possibly it was. If he hadn’t erected a treated-wood fence, I wouldn’t have to plant my herbs in pots. I found the information tag on a slat and looked up the MSDS on the internet. It said to plant food crops 3-4 feet away from the fence. I don’t want to worry about food grown in my own backyard. That was four years ago so the chemicals might have washed away by now.

I do like the way you look in the row with the other pots behind the house. Since you are ceramic, made from earth, you probably adjust better to temperature extremes than the pots made from petrochemicals. The metal ones are lined with Styrofoam to keep the boxwoods warm. I don’t plant food crops in them. The plants haven’t grown much in two years but they are still alive.

I plant new basil every spring, but your oregano survives the winter. By summer you’ll feel better again. I promise. Maybe I should take that back. A south facing wall can get pretty steamy in July.

Forever Yours,

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P.S. Sorry about the mess of pots and stuff under the porch. I keep meaning to take the bedding plant pots back to the nursery instead of throwing them in the garbage.

Apology 15: Mister Machine

Tender Loving Stuff
2 Haul Out Blvd.
Trash City
TLS 1H0

Dear Mister Machine:

I am writing to you as a representative of all the installation and mechanical projects whose pieces are stored in the studio loft. I am really sorry that although most of your parts still exist, you will not likely be shown again.

When I made you, I was thoughtless a propos your ultimate destination. Unfortunately, it is difficult to market spatially-driven projects and electrically-controlled sculptures. I am sorry, Mister Machine, your MDF stand got wet before we fixed the basement. Even when it dried completely it was too misshapen to use again. It went to the dump. I will say in my defense that I did re-use some of your parts for Two Things, a piece that had steam collecting in a gallery basin through a tube from your twin in the storefront window.

I would like to assure all the installations that I spent more time than you can ever guess working on you. I enjoyed the beauty of your forms and took pleasure in caressing your varied surfaces. I was wrapped up in the need to work out my thoughts about the world on you. We are supposed to use our talents or lose them. It is probably a small consolation to you, but I do feel that new work is always built on the ideas from the old.

As for my future actions in this regard, I continue to spend money on electricity so you can be warm in winter and cool in summer. The ceiling fan next the loft makes it the best place in the building. I remain committed to maintaining your comfort just in case somebody wants to show you again.

Sincerely,

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c.c.
Shedding
Musclehead
Aspirations Wall
Gray’s Respiration Installation
Stops, Pauses and Tonal
Breath Books
Scriptless Scriptorium
Large Balloon, Average Human, Small Planet
# 12 Recyclable Lunch Bag
Breathwork
Robotdog
Walking 366 Days Walk route map/graph
Walk Route Notebooks
Blister Bags and Bandage Roll
Walking Woman Incident
Warmer
Floodgates
Dust
Fragile

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Apology 14: Mirrors

Tender Loving Stuff
Haul Out Blvd.
Trash City
TLS 1H0

Dear Smoky Mirror Closet Door Panels,

I feel sad when any relationship doesn’t work out, but I never liked having you in the bedroom. You were here when I moved in. The renovations provided a good excuse to get rid of you. Even if your smoky glass makes seeing things hazy, like how the colors of my jeans and T-shirts look as an ensemble, you were hanging right across from my bed for almost 10 years. I can’t help but feel that there are images of me trapped under your surface that I wouldn’t want anybody to see.

I can’t even say that seeing you propped up against the box containing the new bathtub in the middle of the living room has changed my feelings. In my defense, I will say that I made arrangements with the Habitat for Humanity Restore so you won’t be thrown in the dumpster. On the way there, I noticed how the sky reflected in your surface, which hardly seemed smoky at all in the bright sunshine. The drive must have been a bit harrowing for you. I am sorry if you felt the bumpy ride. The trunk lid kept bouncing down on the wooden beam that we used to protect you from the impact. I held onto the beam so it wouldn’t hurt you, but there was still a tiny scratch on your surface near the bottom of one of your panels. I hope it didn’t hurt too much and won’t diminish your chances of going to a new home. Despite that minor flaw, some other renovator will surely snap up the pair of you quickly, so you’ll be able to stay together. I trust that that what I saw as shortcomings others will see as your finest qualities, and you will all be happy.

At the doorway a Restore employee saw me video-taping and said, “It’s hard to say goodbye.” It is.

Farewell, Smoky Mirrors.

Forever Yours,

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TLS

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Apology 13 Lamp

Tender Loving Stuff
2 Haul Out Blvd.
Trash City
TLS 1H0

The Designers TM Edge Lamp QH-505, Model L-100
Garage/Studio
On the Lane

Dear Lamp QH-505, Model L-100:

I am sorry that you no longer work and I have not managed to get you fixed. It is always sad to see a life cut short in its prime. I am not sure why you stopped working. The bulb looks fine.

It is unclear what happened to you. I remember a puff, crackle and horrid odor when I replaced the bulb. I thought I had the right halogen tube and was careful to handle it with cloth gloves. I tried another bulb that was definitely the right size and under the 500 watt maximum as instructed on the sticker. If the first was the wrong bulb, it might have messed up the thing inside you that makes you work.

We have another lamp that is almost identical, just smaller. It does not work either, but it has no brand name. Among the numerous stickers on you one says, “OUTDOOR USE ONLY” and we probably did use you in the garage. Another says, “FIXTURE IS WARRANTED UP TO ONE YEAR AFTER THIS DATE, Nov 97.”

It is not worth the money to hire an electrician to fix a $9 lamp. Still, I do apologize for leaving you in the heap of things that do not work. I should have put you out of your misery and thrown you in the garbage ages ago.

Sincerely,

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P.S. Recently we bought a similar lamp that has an on/off switch. Suddenly I thought that might be your problem. I did a thorough examination of your body, and you do not seem to have any switches.

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