The Journey Project

  • The Journey Project
    a subjective topographical survey
  • For this Junior Studio project at the Corcoran College of Art + Design, I was asked to create an artwork that in some way expressed the journey from my home to the school.

    I chose to focus on the journey I make on foot, though it is not one I make most frequently, because it is the most interesting. As the walk is fairly long (about 4.3 miles), I often encounter many little details I would have never noticed by car or metro.


    Modern life is such that most people do not use walking as a means of travel,
    particularly for distances of any considerable length. My project serves
    to highlight the way in which walking allows the traveler to notice details
    that would otherwise go overlooked when traveling by motor vehicle.

    I constructed a three-dimensional box with compartments holding a
    different object or experience representing an aspect of the journey I make from
    my house to school. Items are all things encountered along the way,
    with an emphasis on small details.

    To highlight the contrast between macro and micro, the exterior of the box
    was surfaced with an illustration of an aerial map of the region covered
    during the journey. Each compartment has latitudinal and
    longitudinal coordinates underneath it, representing the location where the
    object was located/experienced. The inside cover of the box has a key with
    annotations or prose concerning each entry in this visual travel log.


    Naturalist specimen containers, Joseph Cornell, Rube Goldberg,
    Meriwether Lewis & William Clark, curiosity cabinets, advent calendars.


    Cardboard, hot glue, wooden thumb tacks, paper, google maps,
    paper map, string lights, miniature recording module, found objects.
  • 38.863762,-77.087145

    “Oj djevojko nevaraj junaka,” Milka Polancer begs. “Deceive not thine sincere hero.” This and several other 78 rpm records were propped against a tree. [pressing the button plays a snippet of this recording.]
  • 38.871113,-77.088861

    A remarkable number of rabbits are about when I walk in the mornings. I grew up in Brookyn, not far from Coney Island, a place named after its profusion of rabbits, but there are meager numbers there now.
  • 38.874989,-77.084055

    A curious pile of broken car glass litters the gutter, but no car to match. I gather the glinting treasure greedily.
  • 38.881537,-77.084742

    Nobody knows exactly what the last days of Edgar Allan Poe were like. [pressing the button plays an audio clip of crows calling to each other in the early morning.]
  • 38.910528,-77.069807

    Someone died, or someone moved away. There was a huge pile of boxes and belongings on the curb this morning. Despite the fact that I was running late, I stopped to rummage through in search of treasure. He was a Freemason, apparently. Death or dementia or dissolution freed him from his vigilance, for here were stacks of secret books and special badges.
  • 38.896235,-77.069099

    Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,
    O what a panic’s in thy breastie
    Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
    Wi’ bickering brattle
    I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
    Wi’ murd’ring pattle.

    (Robert Burns)
  • 38.869777,-77.086458

    There are approximately 12,000 species of moss classified in the Bryophyta. The division Bryophyta formerly included not only mosses, but also liverworts and hornworts.
  • 38.907723,-77.066374

    In a rubbish pile, paper reinforcements which have outlasted the paper they were meant to reinforce.
  • 38.910528,-77.068605

    The rain brought them: strange, striated, nestled in tree trunks and popping up from manicured lawns.
  • 38.880735,-77.087832

    I found this bit of metal, and I didn’t know what it was. I just knew it served a purpose once. Apparently it is a key for an old radiator like the ones I grew up with, though I never used such a key on mine.
  • 38.882472,-77.08869

    What sort of entertainment could be obtained with such a ticket? And what is its proper place? The floor? The street where I found it?
  • 38.887684,-77.080107

    My eyes were drawn to something glittering on the sidewalk like a gigantic emerald. After staring for a moment I realized it was a pair of mating cicadas, utterly indifferent to the proximity of my feet. I found a stick on a nearby patch of grass. Without any coaxing, they gripped the stick while remaining connected to each other. I held them up to the sunlight, their white bellies exposed. I placed them in a safe location so they could carry out their sluggish sexcapade without being trampled.