Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Everlasting Art

When I arrived this morning at the San Francisco library where I work, all the other offices and cubicles were unoccupied. There was nobody in the building at all except the cleaners. On my way to the water cooler I was suddenly struck by the tableau above and went back to my own office and dug the camera out of my bag and took this picture. Probably the person who created this precarious heap is quite proud of it. Or so I would guess. It probably represents industriousness or thrift or some other commendable American virtue. And I admire it myself, though my reasons are aesthetic rather than moral. It makes me remember a TV program I watched with my daughter many years ago and have never forgotten – where the male bower bird is shown creating an environmental installation of found objects in hopes of exciting the admiration of the female bower bird. After that program I felt comforted. People might become extinct, but art never would.