Andrew Ross Object Text
In art-making and fabrication, as in many types of fabrication, there are many ways to arrive at any given outcome. Sometimes you have a specific tool to achieve a cut or a mark, but you can just as easily replace it with another tool, though it may be more or less efficient. This is my chainsaw. I don’t use it to cut wood, and I didn’t buy it for any purpose. In fact I didn’t purchase it at all. Like many tools in my possession, I obtained it through happenstance. I have it because many years ago I worked at a design/build shop making furniture for the outdoors; things that would be able to sit on rooftops all over New York City. The owner of this business at some point skipped town, abandoning the shop with all of its tools, and as far as I know, ostensibly disappeared. Myself and the one other employee were tasked, despite never receiving our last paycheck, to dismantle the shop. We did so willingly, in exchange for the option to keep some of the tools. This chainsaw was one of my spoils of plunder and payment in lieu of a final paycheck. I didn’t know what I’d use it for, but I felt compelled to take as much as I could reasonable keep at my studio. Over the years it has become my go-to tool for cutting large blocks of foam, but only when the conditions are correct. There are many ways to cut foam, and although this one can be a time saver, it isn’t completely necessary. Around some visitors to my studio it can sometimes serve as a source of embarrassment as it is a symbol of blue collared, "dirty", work, and it sometimes produces the feeling that the artwork isn’t carefully planned when it’s visible. At the same time as it signifies expedient cutting to me, it also represents imprecision and messes and sometimes even fear. Though it conjures some feelings it can be extremely helpful at times. But I don’t need it. You can have it as an object of contemplation or use.