Do You Have 30 Seconds and Can You Get Your Finger Dirty? was started in June 2002. The process is deceptively simple; I am collecting a single fingerprint from a multitude of individuals. My goal is to create an ever-increasing archive of tiny markings. As the collection grows, the piece becomes more exciting as it is being built one person at a time, one small marking at a time. Each person’s print is taken using a stamp pad and is identified by the date they were fingerprinted as well as their sex, age, occupation and first name. It is the kind of information given out all of the time, the sort of facts found on a variety of official forms but in this case it is accentuated with a beautiful and strange marking. I love the notion that each person carries around a delicate and distinct print that is left invisibly 1000’s of places each day but in this case the mark is made visible and will become part of a larger collection of humanity. Of course there is also much in the news these days about fingerprinting and cataloguing certain people-it is a process that picks people out to tell them they do not really belong. Do You Have 30 Seconds uses this same process but creates a piece that is inclusive, that is about being part of something larger. It is an interactive piece that relies on the willingness of strangers to become part of the project. If they do not stop to listen to my request and explanation of the process the project will fail. Their fingerprint not only expresses their existence but it marks a place where two strangers had a momentary and intimate interaction.
The fingerprints, which are of the index finger, are stamped on to a 9 x 12” piece of acid free drawing paper that has been gridded into twenty sections. Under each print is the personal information recorded in graphite. When the entire piece is installed the pages are hung on the wall chronologically. There is no space between them, so a wallpaper like affect will be created. Some fingerprints have been scanned and made into digital prints.
Digital prints 24×19” with hand written text, 2000 – Present