A Novel About all the Things I Have Forgotten, 2012. Installation. The shelf is approximately 107 x 5/8 x 3-1/8”, the cards are approximately 5-1/2 x 3”.


For many years, I had the idea that I wanted to write a novel. I love how art can make the seemingly impossible possible.

For this piece, I used an electric typewriter and manila filing cards, the kind used in many office settings. I tend to gravitate towards materials not traditionally meant for art-making purposes. I have always been attracted to office supplies for that reason, as well as the way they naturally represent order and command respect.


I wrote on 83 filing cards and built a custom shelf to showcase them. The shelf itself is made out of walnut, with 83 grooves to hold the cards. Each groove was cut at a slight angle so the cards would be more accessible to read. Since this was never going to be a traditional novel, I wanted to see all of the ‘pages’ somewhat simultaneously, something that novels/books simply cannot do. For that reason, I wrote in such a way that the work could be read from beginning to end, end to beginning, or in a small sampling, and still be coherent. Viewers can interact with the piece in addition to reading the cards as presented. The shelf was made to wrap around a 90-degree corner wall. I was very much interested in forcing the viewer to move with the story, as well having the shelf break some unwritten rules about what shelves are supposed to be or do. In fact, much of what this piece does for me is break rules: what a book can be, a novel, shelf, visual art, etc.

I consider the writing more poetry than prose, and chose to write in a very open, diarist manner. Much of the writing is straight from the heart and at times very guttural. 

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