1.0–1.1 Input: Accumulate Inspiration
1.1 Trapper Keeper
Coming back to school after eleven years in the professional field was daunting and uncomfortable. School brings back so many memories and anxieties for me. I’ve always had these nightmares that I was in school and didn’t know what my schedule was or where my next class was to be held. In order to calm my anxiety about being off schedule or lost, I embraced my Type A personality and pulled out my old Mead 3-ring binder with a full zipper closure Trapper Keeper, to keep myself organized through graduate school. Although this may be nerdy, it is an indexical, archival and accumulation system. Individual tabs identifying each class divide my current semester notes and sketches.
How should we take account of, question, describe what happens everyday and recurs everyday: the banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the common, the ordinary, the infraordinary, the background noise, and the habitual?
— Georges Perec
Once the semester is complete, all the contents move into a larger archival binder to be accessed from my desk at a moment’s notice. I treat these binders with the same consideration I would treat an inspirational object, photo or memory. Apart from their archival system, I love to look at the material qualities of the notebooks: the irregular hand writing, the highlighter markings, the intimate codes that meant something to me at the time I wrote them. They represent the unpretentious struggle I have with the written word and the simple gestures of an idea that inspires me — probably while riding the train. These binders also hold the notes and references that link my formal inspiration and making, to conceptual, historical, or personal content.
Originally published at http://jamesjgrady.com on June 25, 2012.