Fifteen years ago, when I was working as an assistant to the director of Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, I remember typing out all our correspondence on a really old dusty Macintosh. Our office was in a trailer, our power came from yards of extension wire leading to next door, our files were all kept on floppy disks. We had no cellphones. We had no internet. Our letters were written only in Arial font. We didn’t even know how to attach a jpeg onto a doc.
But despite it all, that boxy beige thing sitting in the corner was integral to keeping our organization functional. We needed that computer to ask for grant money, to print an invitation, or to type out an artist’s statement. That macintosh was also very integral in blocking the view of myself napping on my desk after lunch. And even though I didn’t notice it much nor know how to use it to it’s full potential, it was very much a part of our lives at Socrates Sculpture Park.
Years later, I would find that same model in the design collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
And it was pretty enlightening.
I mean, it’s amazing to realize how I interacted with a work of art but yet never thought twice about it. Art as function. Accident by design. It was a decadent concept and I didn’t see it.
It’s just like using a Picasso sculpture as a flower vase.
Or as a chair.
But then again.