Mark Lawrence Stafford
The Drift:Documents are developed exclusively with a standard Coronamatic typewriter. I approach each work by making lines, patterns, and degrees of tonality with my machine, allowing these marks to evolve as a drift until memories are triggered which inform their composition. The continuous line utilized in these works is The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. At first glance, this sentence appears to be a playful narrative, but in fact it was designed to test how many words one could type per minute employing all of the letters of the English alphabet. In treating this meaningless exercise of efficiency as a tool in which to create instead of to test, I am able to engage in active meditation in my studio through a process that resembles the forty hour work week. Embracing this mode of operation allows me to bypass the stasis between wage earning and art making, as well as create a deeper focus on either end of the dichotomy. We work to live, and live to work, and have accepted a model in which production and consumption are variables yet synonymous. Have we bought in so much to this culture of consumption that we actually have to devise strategies to disconnect from it? Do we really identify with the uniform we routinely wear and the acquisitions we have made, or are identity and existence nurtured by the things that cannot define us?