I did not get out tonight and ordinarily would not be doing an entry except that many people have been asking the same questions about how we got started building and what if any are the rules and purpose. To be honest it started quite simply on my first day off from school last summer. Here is my first entry in my journal.
"I decided today that my summer project is going to be to construct stone towers on my morning bike rides and document them. They will be of various sizes and complexity. Part of the project will be to try to create them with out being noticed and see if in conversation anybody ever asks about them. Another part of the project will be to take a look at human nature and see if people will knock them down, leave them or start to make structures of there own. I figure I should be able to tell the difference between what nature destroys and what human nature destroys. Finally, I would like to try to get a hundred standing by the end of the summer."
It is said that artists spend their lives breaking all the rules and then imposing a new set of even more rigid rules on themselves. It is certainly true with this venture. At first there was no need for rules because I was only going to build stone towers with stones I found along the trail, like Eileen and I had seen in Norway. I didn’t even know what they were called. It wasn’t until midsummer that I realized that there was only so far you could go with stones, especially when people destroyed them as quickly as you built them. So I built my first tie build. At this point I needed to update the rules to fit the circumstances. I decided that the builds could only be built with materials that were found in the immediate area and that other then a simple multi tool for cutting string and wire no tools would be used. Even the string and wire have to come from the location. I also have a rule that I do not impede the natural demise of the material in any way. Finally, it pretty much goes without saying that no natural objects were hurt in the development of my art, except the occasional grass being stepped down.
When we first started, it was just between Eileen and I and a few close friends. Although more people now know who is building them, I still prefer doing it while people aren’t watching. I think there is something mystical about them just appearing even if you know who is doing it. The journals were to be for my eyes only. As things started to get more interesting however more and more people were brought into the circle. If you are reading this you are probably a friend or at least a friend of a friend. I apologize in advance for the general lack of writing skills. There is a reason I am a art teacher. I have no idea where this will go this summer. It could be downright boring. I hope that answers some of the questions as to why a grown man is running around building sculptures while no one is watching.
Gerber three years later
5 months ago