Morgen’s driving now, we’re leaving from Nevada and headed to Oregon for what will be a 6 hour drive. So far, we’ve stopped at three Walmarts and gone into two. The first location received a bomb threat, as I mentioned earlier (in our sketch journal.) When we decided to leave I was glad, the time allowed me to mentally and emotionally collect myself. I was overcome by uncertainty, questioning, what is it that I’m doing? The big question– suddenly I asked myself the epic post marriage question– I felt married to the project) Decidedly, before leaving the lot, we created task and a meal plan for ourselves.
Shortly before arriving at our next location Morgen decided to record us speaking– we ended the recording thinking about excess, how products achieve their function, layered and saturated by propaganda.
We pulled up to the Walmart.
I thought the conversation was over. What we were speaking about became a series of metaphors and Illustrations. We were trying to think about walmart, what it’s doing, how it’s doing it and imagine ways of interrogating the, “idea of walmart.” We put it up against a manicured lawn, thinking about how the lawn is tamed and how that might reflect an idea of the stunted human– one whose being is overdetermined, we couldn’t make clarity of it or agree and that’s when things got heated. We weren’t listening to one another. Reflecting now, it was productive, although I really upset Morgen by stepping over boundaries allowing my hands to touch him and using aggressive hand gestures near his neck… we stopped and went into Walmart.
Walking into the store, I remember this sense of being overwhelmed, the clothes appeared closer to the entrance– in a major way. We had an exchange, right after walking in, Morgen said to me that this store really sold clothes, we continued walking and noticed that half the store was clothes– Half the store! This was both exciting and overwhelming. I spent the time in this location adjusting to what I was doing (taking photos in a public place) and secondly dealing with, that which I am still not over, the employee’s attention to my being in the space. I was focused on capturing everything, thinking simply about what things I’m seeing, the tags stood out, and additionally became interested in seeing the customers– I didn’t imagine that happening in the way that it did. As all these new things were happening I realized quickly the necessity of a focus. Being in the store without an objective is overwhelming, understanding, these first task would be just capturing imagery. I figure now, to be most thorough, I should always have one goal in addition to the constant.