November 27, 2010

A Moment to Make Your Mark

This week’s exercise will feature no moral, no agenda, and no deep insight. This week will simply be: for fun, for wasting time, and for goofing off at work. If you believe that you’re too busy, too important, or too concerned with being caught to be fooling around, then you are the one that needs this Moment the most.

This will also be the first Moment upon which we will place our signatures. Neither our initial in a corner nor our name scribed in cursive will do. Instead, we will leave an unmistakable mark, that which cannot be counterfeited. These Moments will be created with our fingerprints.

No brushes, no markers, no pencils no stencils no pens, only our fingertips will apply the paint to our canvas this week. Of course, this canvas can be whatever is within reach: paper, lumber, fabric, tabletop, dinner plate, anything that we can grasp. We will not, however, paint on anything that we shouldn’t (our boss’s desk, for example). As much as we need to let go in one respect, we certainly do not want to be in the other.

The procedure couldn’t be simpler: cover your fingertips with paint, and then with them, apply the paint to your canvas.

Like the canvas, the paint can be whatever you choose. Colour your fingertips with an ink pen, a marker, finger paint, acrylic, oil, gravy; it doesn’t matter. Apply the medium, and mash. You certainly can, and should, use many different colours. Make your Moment dramatic. Give it panache. Repeat this until your entire canvas is littered with fingerprints.

Most importantly, do not allow your Moment to look like anything in particular. Make this Moment abstract and incoherent. As soon as you decide that it needs to resemble something, it will lose its flavour, and you will begin to worry about whether or not you’re succeeding in accurately portraying this image. If you really need it to look like something, make it look like a mess.

Messy is desirable here. The longer it takes to clean up after your Moment, the better. Dive right in, touch your canvas, and really feel it. Experience the texture of the paper, or the grain of the wood. The purpose is not to have a respectable piece of artwork that you can frame and show. The purpose is solely to enjoy your Moment.

In short, the point here is that there is no point here. Not every moment needs an intention, and not every Moment needs an agenda. Just let it be. When you are finished, leave your Moment where it is, and on your way to the restroom to wash up, be sure to touch as many things and shake as many hands as possible.

Now to be fair, here's my Moment:
Acrylic on Yellow Pages applied with fingertips.

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