I was a little excited when the small bubble envelope containing the ingredients for my "Mystery Project" arrived. Inside the envelope, I found a nice little thank-you card, a Prismacolor marker in a color called "Cinnamon Toast," and a small card with the phrase "If tomorrow came yesterday" on it.
Yeah. I was less than thrilled with a brown marker and a prompt so tortured and twisted that my head hurt every time I tried to think about what to do for this project. For weeks, I picked up the envelope, pulled out the contents and felt my heart sink as I struggled to work out what I was supposed to do with that marker and those words. I planned an elaborate voting box with tokens for people encountering the art to select what they would do if, as the prompt suggested "tomorrow came yesterday." I imagined a social experiment in which people weighed the burdens of knowledge of the future and tried to decide how they would spend a day with that knowledge. All the while, I kept thinking that in that circumstance, I would do what I always do: Be present and content in the here and now.
That's when I grabbed a tiny wooden birdhouse, covered it in strips of old Wall Street Journals (how perfect is that?), distressed the corners with a liberal touch of "Cinnamon Toast," and slipped a special message inside for people encountering the art to discover.
I took the finished piece to work & installed it between two bulletin boards that feature marketing materials for the various MBA programs offered at the business school where I work.
Here are a few photos of the installation and people viewing the piece: