I walk the sidewalks, streets and back-lanes of my native Winnipeg. My goal is to walk all of them. It is an obsessive activity born of a curiosity to know more about the place where I have lived my whole life. I view the houses and the yards of people I will never know. At night, when lights are on, I can peer through windows and look at a living room or a kitchen – sometimes a bedroom. I try to dispassionately observe on these walks, to make no judgements. I collect errant objects that have been dropped, discarded, or given up for dead, but that still seem valuable to me in some way. I bring these objects home thinking they may find a place in the things I make. Sometimes they do, but more often they become part of an inventory of shelved experiences.
How can I make sense of this collection of objects and the things I have seen? It is an answer concealed in strategies of collecting, ordering, sorting, representing, filtering, categorizing, labelling, (re)contextualizing, and indexing. It is in seeing similarities and differences; and in recognizing patterns. It is in showing the sense in nonsense and the nonsense in sense. It is by applying a strategy based in process to experiences. It is by embracing the vagaries of serendipity. It is by finding meaning in, and/or applying meaning to, objects, images, events, activities and environments. Meanings we are told they have and meanings we assign to them. It is by putting things where they don’t belong or by not putting things where they do belong.