dust collecting (2014)

For reasons unknown the demolition-by-implosion of a ten-story brick hotel building downtown - originally set for Thursday morning- was rescheduled for today: Saturday morning. I figured this would bring a bigger crowd than the original Thursday arrangement since most of the potential spectators would have been at work Thursday morning and therefore unavailable to leave work to watch. I was planning on taking advantage of a specific large public architectural overlook’s superb view of the soon to be demolished building and found I wasn’t alone – the place was packed – phones, cameras: out’n’ ready.


At home I left an empty bottle of mustard in the fridge which I was saving for when I purchased a new full bottle of mustard of the same size so I could squirt the mustard from the new bottle into the bottle I had been saving in the fridge. I had just moved to a different state after living in another for three years. The sixteen oz. bottles being from different states were also from different grocery stores and were labeled as such. I wanted to keep using the old bottle of mustard as a souvenir and was now in need of new mustard to fill it up with.


About a week after the implosion it hadn’t rained and I walked down to the implosion site’s actual and adjacent neighborhoods with the intention of searching for and hopefully sweeping-up and collecting some reddish dust that had been thrown in the air during and after the brick buildings’ fall to pieces – the dust eventually had to settle down all over the place. I was able to find some decent sized dust deposits nestled in between roads and curbs. No one was around and I swept up some dust and dumped it into a plastic grocery store bag and shoved it in my backpack along with the dust pan and mini-broom.


Back at my apartment, using a sieve, I separated the pure reddish dust I was hunting for from sticks and pebbles and other gutter debris that had been swept up along with it. I poured the smooth reddish dust in a glass jar and closed a lid on it. The sticks and pebbles went into the brand new washed and empty mustard bottle which I had recently purchased from my new local grocery store. 

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a portion of this work was included in Heather Kapplow and Liz Nofziger's NO RUSE project