Why handwritten task lists only?
Using handwritten task lists as the ephemeral raw material is important to me for a lot of reasons. Here’s the 4-minute explanation:
They’re super common among women.
I’m hard-pressed to find a woman who doesn’t have a task list of some sort. Right or wrong, with the Type-As and overachievers I often roll with, we even talk tips & tactics to effectively wring every last productive drop out of them. When you start to focus on them like I have, you see them everywhere - hanging out of jacket pockets in the grocery store, stuck to desks at work, posted on the fridge. Everywhere. It’s one seriously ubiquitous scrap of paper.
How many different emotions have you felt looking at your task list in a given week? While the tasks themselves range from mundane (get jeans hemmed) to soul-drenched desire (sleep in a glass igloo in Lapland), our emotional reactions can either drain or electrify us as women. I hear it all the time. Let’s not forget the fleeting satisfaction of checking something off the list. Embarrassing as this sounds, I’ve actually put things on my list for the pleasure of marking it completed.
Even though I’m so digital I’m probably half-cyborg by now, I keep a handwritten list from time to time. (It's usually a Post-it when I need to really focus.) Yes, I’ve thought through all the ways that women could show me their list of tasks digitally; it always felt like a downer to me. Faux scheau, I could probably sort, stream and catalog everything with a helluva lot more ease. Just thinking about receiving a PDF of someone’s task list by email kills my buzz around this project. I’m going with my gut on this one.
They’re going to be great raw materials (IMHO).
Little known fact: I’m an insatiably curious lover of ephemera. I savor those small, voyeuristic moments when you find someone’s old grocery list stuck to your shopping cart or a random postcard stuck in an old book. I’ve been awe-struck by the boxed assemblages and collages of artist Joseph Cornell. Also, I love handwriting and calligraphy. Through a good chunk of middle school into high school, all my school notes and Franklin Planner updates were done with a Sheaffer calligraphy cartridge pen. It’s not a big mental leap to understand why women's handwritten task lists would be my top choice of ephemeral raw material for my dream installation.