200 DOLLAR CAR PROJECT
The idea - Buy a car for 200 dollars (we happened upon a 1992 ford taurus) and drive it as far as it will go. The representation of the project will become evident along the way, hopefully.
we (harvest, brodie large, and i) took off on Christmas Day, at midnight, 2005. the car was running fine, cruised at a nice speed of about 65, and we headed south. despite harvest and brodie falling fast asleep, i drove through the night for an uneventful 6 hours. got about 24 miles to the gallon, which was a nice surprise.
saw a pool that looked sort of surreal because of the morning light and not sleeping at all. and some trees.
brodie filmed a dead bird on the side of the highway. and he made sandwiches.
after harvest drove for a spell, i took us on in to san francisco. we were hoping to meet up with caveh zahedi, but it was not meant to be on this trip. so, after a small lunch, we were back on the road. passed the windmills. hit some nasty traffic and didn't arrive to los angeles until about 11 pm. along the way, harvest was sleepy. but the ford was holding up.
so, while trying to find mylissa's house, i looked up and saw this tree.
then we made it to her pad. she gave us cake and ham and tea. very nice. a welcomed shower and sleep.
the next morning, we woke up and were confronted by the end. which made brodie and harvest happy, i think, because they no longer had to get into that death trap, which also smelled pretty bad, and had a well marked upholstery with some pretty bizarre mystery stains.
personally, i was bummed out by the flat. up until that point, we had been engaged in a project. my idea had come to life, and we were on the road. i think i learned a lot on this project. for one, since purchasing the car, i felt like i was involved with making art. this made me happy. but of course, i realize that it was a self defining existence. there was the concept that was happening and while the car was running and we were moving, i felt like i was involved in making art. nothing else was different. there wasn't any sort of representation being created. (the film sort of didn't really happen.) nonetheless, i had this internal spring of giddinness that we were doing this art thing. it wasn't just a normal road trip giddinness, as i have done several such trips. i mean, that was definitely part of it, but there was this other label to the time passing, that of making art. and when the flat happened, and the project was finished, i immediately felt that luster vanish. again, it was totally self prescribed, but it was the same feeling i get when i am painting, or putting horses on the street, or doing anything artistic. but the difference was that this was just a drive. really, that's all it was. buy a car for 200 dollars and see how far it goes. see what happens along the way. document your journey however you wish. talk to people along the way, or don't. it's totally up to you. and so for me, this metaphor for life (the car being our bodies) started with a dull drive through the dark, hobbled into the morning light, found a brief respite in san francisco, limped all the way to los angeles, and sadly ended the next morning with a shredded tire. i do feel like there is more to say. but i am not sure what. i am not sure how to put words to it. for me, it would be like writing about making a painting, which i could do, but there's just a certain quality to the frame of mind i am in while making art that is hard to describe with words.
also, here's the film about the trip.
and, the 200 dollar car project got an informal mention in blackbook magazine
footnote 1: we sold the car today, 1-6-2006, for 500 dollars. bonus.
footnote 2: in thinking about how to represent this project, i wanted to just use this picture of the paper towel that i used to check the oil the first time i filled up with gas. i am going to frame it along with this, and this, which i took off the license plate, and kept.
footnote 3: ken kozman was a generous benefactor of gas money for this trip. he had one stipulation and that was for harvest and i to buy sonme slim jims and get a picture with them. here you go ken, and thanks again. (to be honest, we didn't get to the slim jims until joshua tree, as you can see by the sign in the pic, but we didn't forget.)