Collecting without eBay.
For the longest time I mostly just looked. I surveyed the outgrown, the underused, the inherited, the once-wanted unwanted things. It was summer and the plastic, glass, and ceramic baked on white sheets in the afternoon heat. What I picked up was often hot to the touch.
It sometimes took weeks, sometimes longer, to settle on an object and then to find it again. The settling was easy. I found things beautiful. I got a particular type of loneliness just by looking at certain things, and of course that’s how I knew. After about a dozen or so stops I’m sure you could start to see it too: a kind of brightness of an item that’s losing its luster, not just where you were, but all over. Not to me, like I said, but to others.
I’m not immune to this process entirely. I once bought back a copy of a book I had written at fifty cents on the dollar. It was inscribed: “To Andy. Love, Julia.” The funny thing is I’m about to marry an Andy, a different one. I thought for a second the used copy was his. It couldn’t be, though. His copy never left our library.
Among other things, this project proposes a rubric of value based on search speed. I heard you can find fifty-four Emerson Jumbo Universal remotes in 0.34 seconds. It took me seventy-one days to find my second Emerson Jumbo Universal remote, buried in a gray bin in a garage in Kingston, NY. When I grabbed it out of the pile I was flooded with feeling. Now you tell me that remote isn’t one of the most valuable things I own.
This is a collection of duplicate items I gathered piece by piece. This is a collection of multiples assembled without using the Internet.
Julia Weist, Used Multiples Collected Without Using the Internet, 2014-ongoing. Found objects, fabric, steel, wood. Dimensions variable.
Julia Weist is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY and Durham, NY. This Fall she will release After, About, With, an artist book documenting a year of Internet manipulation preceding a two-person installation with Haim Steinbach.