the common box project

Abecedarian Gallery director Alicia Bailey and Denver-based independent recording artist John Common (www.johncommon.com) shared a belief that art forms benefit from overlap, and that collaborative efforts usually have rewarding and exciting outcome. That belief was the basis for The Common Box Project.

The general idea (in early 2009): Invite 60+ artists from across North America, send them each a simple wooden box, along with the nuts and bolts of a new record by an indie songwriter and then mix it all together in a beautiful collaboration called The Common Box Project -- a mixed media collaboration with artists of all types creating unique pieces of assemblage box art inspired and/or informed by the new record by John Common & Blinding Flashes of Light – which was later released in fall 2009.

Each box, measuring approx. 7”x7”x5”, has a recessed area in the back that holds a copy of John’s record Beautiful Empty. Buying a box was the only way to get an early copy of John’s new record. Follow the full evolution of the project

The catalog, designed and produced by Abecedarian Gallery, includes images of 54 of the boxes that were part of the (Denver) Common Box Project. It can be ordered directly from this link. It is available as a printed catalog and as a PDF.

    heart on a spring heart on a spring
heart on a spring heart on a spring heart on a spring heart on a spring

heart on a spring

Mica discs represent a c.d. or vintage record. ‘Heart on a Spring’ represents what I think most songs are inspired by…love, whether it be lost or discovered. The blueprints represent the makings of a song…the need for a design, template or layout of -- for example -- the lyrics, meter, rhythm or baseline. The detail on the inside left side of the box reminds me of what I imagine to be a musical scale. The detail on the bottom of the box, just below the hanging heart, is (and I’m guessing here) a drawing of a turbine. I image a turbine as the engine behind the movement of a song, keeping the pace and rhythm of the tune. N-S-E-W…I find representative of the many directions a single song can follow in the span of just a few minutes.

plywood box, acrylic paint, vintage blueprint,
plastic hearts, spring, plexiglass
6.75" x 6.75" x 5"
17.2cm x 17.2cm x 12.7cm

plywood box, acrylic paint, vintage blueprint,
plastic hearts, spring, plexiglass
6.75" x 6.75" x 5"
17.2cm x 17.2cm x 12.7cm

plywood box, acrylic paint, vintage blueprint,
plastic hearts, spring, plexiglass
6.75" x 6.75" x 5"
17.2cm x 17.2cm x 12.7cm

plywood box, acrylic paint, vintage blueprint,
plastic hearts, spring, plexiglass
6.75" x 6.75" x 5"
17.2cm x 17.2cm x 12.7cm

plywood box, acrylic paint, vintage blueprint,
plastic hearts, spring, plexiglass
6.75" x 6.75" x 5"
17.2cm x 17.2cm x 12.7cm

 

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