7,000 Stones

2009 / stones, paint, permanent marker, varnish, roadside sign / 110" x 110" x 40"

7,000 stones collected around Alfred, New York were hand-numbered from 1 to 7000. The numbered stones were exhibited in a pile, with a wall text inviting visitors to the exhibition to take the stones home with them. The remaining stones were returned to their place of origin, waiting to be discovered by walkers.

This piece was made in response to the story of a local museum whose collection of hundreds of thousands of artefacts was lost, stolen and sold over the course of 100 years and is now dispersed across the country and in the attics and memories of local people. The only evidence of the objects once having once been part of a collection is a tiny, hand-painted acquisition number.

7,000 Stones was made during my tenure as Theodore Randall International Chair at Alfred University, New York. An article about several works made during this tenure including 7,000 Stones was written by Laurence Biemiller for the Higher Education Chronicle. Curator and critic Antonia Marten mentions the project in her article for Museum Off Museum for Bielefelder Kunstverein, Germany. The Wikipedia article on The Steinheim Museum refers to 7,000 Stones as well as other related projects. I kept a studio diary of stories from my time in Upstate New York.