The table in my studio is John MacKenzie’s table. Well, it’s mine right now. But when I die – and if I still have it – it’s John MacKenzie’s table.
It’s his table because there is a little yellow sticky underneath it that says so. One time he said he liked it, I thought the reasons he liked the table were likely the same reasons I like the table, and I sticky noted it.
My friends don’t like this yellow sticky business because they think it’s morbid and worry that I’m planning on leaving before they do. I don’t see it that way.
As the archive librarian of my personal stuff, I love watching the strata of memory objects slowly form and it pleases me that a handful of sticky noted items will one day be someone else’s memory objects, reminders of my wonderful self, and – best of all – no longer my problem.
Lately I’ve been thinking about a collection of small, precious objects my aunt had as a child. I started thinking about it when I realized that, seemingly out of nowhere, I had one of my own. Housed in a tin lunchbox rescued from Georgetown Elementary, the collection is like the junk drawer in the kitchen: it’s contents where carried there like pebbles on a river bed, in the absence of conscious design. I hold that analysis of any stratum of significant objects is linked somehow to the way we think. And this ‘when’ and ‘where’ of collections and ideas is just so fucking interesting.
What’s in your kitchen junk drawer? Where do you keep your special stuff? Are the receptacles significant? Are they memory objects in their own right? Linked in any way – through narrative or time – to the contents that they hold? Seriously, you can get a degree in this shit.