Saturday, May 12, 2012

Empty Film Cannisters [Dumb Box 13]

I'd been working with this line, empty film canisters strewn about the gutter, for a long time, trying to get it right, it took a long time; but I finally got it to look the way I wanted and that night I opened up the book I was reading, The Interrogation by J.M.G. LeCl├ęzio, and I fell upon these words:

"I've often thought I'd like to be a cinema operator, up in the projection-room.  For one thing, you're shut up in a small room, all alone with the projector.  There are no openings except the door and the slits that let the beam of light through.  All you have to do is put the reel on the spindle, and while it's running off, with a pleasant humming sound, you can smoke cigarettes and drink beer straight out of the bottle, keeping an eye on the blueish electric light bulb and saying to yourself that this is like being on board a liner during a cruise, one of the few people who aren't fooled by what's going on."

The coincidence of finding those words at that moment made me feel like I had gotten it right.

But of course, that kind of thinking is crazy.

And finding I'd misspelled the word "canister" is probably more telling.

Oh, well. Sometimes you misspell on purpose, sometimes by mistake.


Further update, May 2013: the box continues to evolve; it now looks like this (see below).

Forget LeCl├ęzio.

This box no longer exists as shown.


  1. oh these boxes, these boxes, these boxes...and the stories they contain!

  2. not just stories, but corrections, as well!
    next week.

  3. It looks like an architect's scale model for an unbuilt museum in the Brutalist Modern style.

  4. Funny you should say that. Originally, when I first started doing these things in cardboard, way back in 1965, it was in the middle of the space race and I meant them to be monuments to the Wright Brothers at Kittyhawk. No joke. But when I started doing them again, some 45 years later, my interests, not surprisingly, had changed.