Buster Simpson's laundry

To prep for the retrospective of Buster Simpson's work opening this weekend at the Frye Art Museum, I looked up the artist's name on Wikipedia.

Turns out he's referenced in entries for other artists, but does not have a Wikipedia entry of his own!

9034913054_484fa26580_bThis in spite of a body of work in public, metropolitan spaces (New York, Boston, Seattle, probably others) over decades.

The search result has me thinking: how does one live in an open, thoroughly engaged manner that nevertheless resists digitization? In philosophical terms, what behaviors will not be assimilated into the Singularity? In terms of the news of the day, what is it about certain kinds of information in plain sight that causes the surveillance state to not know how to see?

One answer may be to not consume anything.

Resisting commercial supply chains certainly seems to be the operative guideline for how the Simpson show was installed at the Frye. At a preview of the show, Curator Scott Lawrimore explained that no new materials were used in the installation. Instead of cutting new vinyl for signs to identify and explain pieces, curators wrote on the walls. To support a sculpture needing a base, geometric sections of drywall were sawed out and folded to make a table. In order to provide seating to permit viewers to relax while watching looped videos, Simpson fashioned stools using screens from discarded televisions.


I plan on being at the Frye Saturday, June 15, at 2 pm, when Simpson and Lawrimore are scheduled to lead a public tour of the show. Meantime, you can go visit a Buster Simpson installation of clean laundry in Post Alley, off Virginia Street, just north of Pike Place Market, or the southern edge of the Belltown neighborhood in Seattle.

9032765891_830936a202_bAt a preview of the show at the Frye, Curator Lawrimore joked that Simpson had spent as much time writing letters and seeking permits for the outdoor laundry installation as he did prepping the interior of the museum. "In the old days," Simpson rejoined, "we just put things up." (That may not be an exact quote.)

Hats off to Linda Thomas whose early morning tweet confirmed that the Simpson laundry was flying. I went down and snapped photos.

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