Saturday, 23 January 2010

The box

If the box is the metaphor for convention, all thing with the grain, everything mainstream, conforming...etc...etc....which of these represents your relationship with it? Or do you need a whole new representation?

(You can click on each row to enlarge if need be)

Please e mail further suggestions for me to add to the box bank if a) none of these pinpoint your exactly relationships with it and/or b) you just feel like drawing some more boxes.


  1. I fluctuate between being outside the box most of the time and hateful towards everyone who is inside it, to being inside the box and colouring in without going over the edges in specific areas of my life, like...well, colouring in really - very anal in this department despite hating myself for it and wanting to do messy, free-flowing art), to having too many sherries and smashing up my and everyone else's boxes with a sledgehammer and explosives xxx

  2. I'm sure you could think of a picture for me, conveying my idea that the box is a state of mind. :) Thanks!

  3. My absolute favourite box image is one made by Cornelia Parker in 2004 which she called "Heart of Darkness".

  4. I sort of orbit it, looking at the convention, wondering why people want a box like that, or wondering if I'd be happier in that box. I'd better add I'm orbiting in my own little box that I've made which is my set of conventions. Sometimes at business meetings with those particularly greasy armarni clad not-really-creative marketing types, I will wear a facsimile of their box, but I've usually scribbled on it somewhere, or written a bad word on it (i.e. not shaved for a week, or not cleaned my shoes, or just have a bad-boy hangover on purpose) just to prove that although it looks like their box, that they say they think outside, but it isn't. My box is usually black inside too, and has a blinking LED in it. I like black, the LED is just there to get on my nerves, it's red.

  5. i thought i was outside, but now i'm not so sure....i ridicule it, but i am a part of it. my germanic/protestant work ehic upbringing keeps me firmly inside it. i give EVERYTHING to the box and feel guilty if i am doing something outside it. the boxes have changed throughout my life and have always controlled my every thought...hit a nerve there molly-well done!!!!

  6. Molly Potter happy to serve!

    Wow. Metaphor City is thrilling!

    I forgot to say what my relationship with the box is.

    For the first 25 years I was totally unaware of the box. My world was my world - full of exciting explorations - in the garden, in my projects, in my making things, in my fascinations, in my head. I didn't have the time, capacity, capability or inclination to notice any boxes. This went on into early adulthood. I didn't know you were meant to dress up smart for interviews for example (thank you Claire - that box you showed me got me the job). Then I became aware of the box as more and more got displayed and offered to me - sometimes kindly (save her!) but more often with a snide disapproval and assumption that I really must be stupid because 'everyone wants to be in the box surely?'...but she clearly is incapable of getting in it. And then I became intimidated by the box because I just could not get in it but it's strength, through pure numbers, made me feel a bit bullied.

    But now, I let the box laugh at me but I laugh back in its face - with love! Poor box is more fragile and shallow than it would like to think. It has safety in numbers alone.

    I'll send my invoice to myself.

  7. Claire - I think us Potter-kids (and dad) have struggled with the box in a way that has made us outcasts at times. Makes us a bit understandably defensive - like many people in minorities!

    Molly - will you shut up with that new catchphrase.

    Sandra -that sculpture is amazing. I could happily get in a box like that and never come out.

    Mr T - I wish I was actually conscious of my scribbling like you are. Mine's accidental. What are the rules in your little orbiting black box with an LED light to irritate you?

    Sue - let's smash the box and set you free -I'll have to know what I'm hunting for, so give me clear directions and I'll shoot it for you.

    Codgi - that looks like a man with a box for a head. Easily drawn - will add.

  8. My box at the moment is a box filled up with thousands of other boxes (I'm making mosaics).

    In the context of your post though, 'the box' how most see it is not the concern to me it once was.

  9. I understand that for some people there is a box. I understand that sometimes I have to act within the confines of what is acceptable in that person's box but I completely believe that the box is a state of mind. My work is to try and expand it to the point it explodes....make people really look at it, reflect on it, is it really so great? Show them what is available to them when they don't live within it and help them to realise that they don't have be in a box at all. Viva la revolution!!

    C x

  10. The rules are whatever takes my fancy. The red light must be something or other. An orange light started blinking earlier. Not seen that before.

  11. Eric - being free from box concern is my ultimate aspiration.

    Carol - how do you get people to do that at work...that sounds fascinating. Blog about it perhaps?

    Nick - rules that take your fancy don't sound like rules at all...just whims. Fraud Boxster.

  12. Cornelia Parker blew that box up. What a woman! She has a piece in Tate Modern where she got a steamroller to run over things. Now there's an idea of the box.


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