Reading Between the Lines


This project came about from my being a bike commuter. Because I’m moving slower I get to watch body language, and it was always interesting to me watching the dynamics between a signer (self-described word for people who stand on street corners with a cardboard sign, in hopes of getting some money) and the people pulling up in a vehicle. While I at first wondered if there was a way for the general public to look at signers in a new light, this morphed into a rumination about the signers’ need to write just a few words but how that gave power to the passersby to fill in the blanks in whatever way they chose. What started out as a photo project then grew into establishing ongoing conversations with signers and homeless, and asking if they wanted to write more about their situations, their philosophies and observations on a much bigger piece of cardboard. This culminated in an installation comprised of these cardboard pieces formed into even larger pieces that were reminiscent of architecture but clearly unable to house anyone. Four cardboard pieces, each larger than the rest, spoke to the growing problem of homelessness. Their tippy nature revealed the feeling of dominoes falling. This installation was on view at Form + Content Gallery in Minneapolis.