Paranoia as a System: Bearclaw

When we look back on childhood, even a particularly difficult one full of hardships and misery, there will always be elements that we recall with fondness or nostalgia. Looking to the future has similar results. There will always be things we dread the very thought of and there will always be things we look forward to with hope in our hearts. The senior year of college is a time where both the past and the future loom over us with increasing clarity as we seem to hurdle from one to another at once too quickly and not quick enough.

This piece seeks to use that evershifting balance by incorporating those elements of the past into a single object to combat the fears of the future. The goal is not to fight one particular anxiety, but to prepare for any and all that may appear. To do this the piece includes items that aren’t just meaningful for the memories associated with them, but for the time those memories came from and the overcome anxieties that once haunted it.

The spoons, of course, serve as the foundation that holds many of the objects up and are tied together with the light blue ribbon, though also with hot glue. The slinky is draped over the spoons like a rainbow with steel bands and ends on both sides in a sock rather than a pot of gold or a leprechaun. Resting within the slinky’s coils atop the spoons is the unlit sparkler positioned as a lynchpin might be in a more mechanical piece. Beneath the center is a mini paint set, helpfully labelled, stacked on top of a full bottle of real maple syrup, also labelled. Both of those items are standing on the foundation; a card from the game Magic: The Gathering serving as the true base for the piece. At the center of it all lies the cheese knife hidden safely within its sheath, in turn embedded on a plinth of spoons that holds the piece together. Though the knife itself isn’t secured, the sheath is as an assurance of security.

Author: Adam Stockman