there were those images of astronauts doing tasks in free fall. They practiced
for this in the belly of a falling airplane. Do you remember Eddie Murphy
hanging onto the runaway truck in Beverly Hills Cop? For a moment it was
as if he was in free fall. This has little to do with me trying to write
and make sketches in my journal on a Greyhound Bus, but maybe, for a moment,
this memory overlapped with the other ones.
Does an intersection of unrelated memories combine to make new ideas?
I don’t know. I decided long ago it would not be helpful to know
such things. It would not make me more creative, only more programmatic.
I don’t even know which of my ideas are good. I wait for people
to tell me.
Jesse picked the idea for this piece out of a clump of sketches on my
desk. It is hard to say what about it appealed to him, because as soon
as it became a group project, the question changed from "Can it be
done?" to "How many different ways can it be done?" How
many ways can you make a drawing with a truck?
Here’s what we decided to do:
Matt, Ward, and Jesse take turns frantically driving each other around
NYC in a U-Haul truck at night. One drives fast, erratically, hitting
potholes, swerving, speeding. The other is suspended in the rear of the
truck in a tree-climbing harness, costumed as a monster, rock star, or
robot, armed only with a large black marker, attempting to make a drawing
on the paper-covered interior walls of the truck. The resulting drawing
is a mapping of body and drawing tool fighting for control in constantly
shifting conditions of motion and inertia.
Next: A truck is outfitted with a drawing device on its underside. Each
artist takes a turn using it to create an image, directing a team of truck
lifters as to which direction and with what pressure to move the truck.
A camera and a contact microphone are recording, amplifying, and outputting
Finally: The front end of the truck is outfitted with a drawing appendage
and camera. A passenger riding in the back of the truck directs the driver
of the vehicle via walkie-talkie, viewing the drawing in progress from
a monitor and steering the driver towards its realization/destination.
We don’t always think and act as a group, but one thing is clear.
If you’re going to be drawing with a truck, you need three men.
A driver, a navigator, and a third guy to fend off other cars/create trouble.
For this, a mid-size U-Haul truck is the perfect vehicle. People see that
orange and silver box approaching them, not knowing exactly who has rented
the beast, and suddenly all their past auto-rental experiences flash before
their eyes. As for the U-Haul itself, the truck’s Ford V-8 engine
has to react to the driver’s demands, no matter what they may be.
The driver’s newest mission: to get this machine in touch with its
creative side. We say this truck can draw.