Materials: The Tuesday, February 22, 2012 issue of the New York Times.
I approached this project as a kind of controlled décollage. I took (bought) a copy of the daily New York Times and cut overlapping, interlocking windows into several of its pages, revealing in segments the paper's various strata. I decided to only cut the windows in square and rectangular shapes, to reflect the grid-like arrangement of graphics and columns that characterizes the typical news publication. Pages from the Arts section, Science section, Business section, obituaries, and News & Politics section - as well as miscellaneous advertisements - are all visible through the front page.
Two particular reflections informed this project:
- One, the newspaper as a repository for all the events that take place in a day - the substance as well as the detritus. Although newspapers do prioritize their information to some extent (important news items occupy the front page, other stories go in the appropriate sections), the actual experience of reading a newspaper often ends up as a blur of images and data. A single story might be broken up among multiple pages. Serious articles clash with gaudy ads. Only the most attention-grabbing headlines end up sticking.
- Two, the newspaper as a physical object, which presents itself both as a tool (useful) and as a body (impermanent, that is, vulnerable to mutilation). The demise of the newspaper as a relevant cultural form has been linked to its diminished utility, this itself connected to the newspaper's impermanence and limited scope - at least relative to the internet's practically infinite archives of information. For this project, I was equally interested in destroying the newspaper as I was in repurposing the newspaper for some alternate use.