Monday, September 01, 2008

TIBDIoB: The Urban Inuksuk

inuksuk shadow

A couple of years ago, I told Keane I wanted to make an inuksuk. (According to Wikipedia, "inukshuk" is a mispronunciation and"inuksuk" is the preferred spelling. The weird thing is that it seems that what I wanted to make is actually an "inunnguaq" because I wanted to make a cairn representing a human figure. But, "inuksuk" means "something which acts for or performs the function of a person," so why is a person shaped inuksuk supposed to have a different name? I'm afraid the discussion page on Wikipedia is no help on this question and only goes over the "s" or "sh" spelling battle.)

Unlike on the barren tundra, flat rocks are hard to come across here in the centre of Ottawa. So I decided to use urban materials. Keane happily agreed to help me in the quest and between the two of us we amassed a good collection that was kept, of course, in my basement.

Because of the decluttering mission, today was building day. Keane came over, we carried the pieces out to the driveway and we put it together. We could have consulted a reference on building inuksuit, but it was obvious how everything should go together.

inuksuk made of busted stereos, VCRs and computers

We took photos, and then took the head off and waited in the driveway to get sunset pictures. (We took the head off because it belongs to Keir and he'd be upset if it fell off and broke. We stayed in the driveway because Keane felt that people would steal the pieces of the inuksuk. I thought he was imagining things, but it is garbage night here and there were a bunch of guys on bicycles who kept circling past. They could have been fans of cultural art.)

Quite a few cars stopped. Some people took pictures. A couple of kids really liked it. "It's a robot," one shouted.

I didn't want to contradict him and maybe turn him off Inuit art, so I said "Not a very smart robot."

"But it's cool," said the kid.

I thanked him for the compliment.

Finally the sun got low in the sky, we took our final shots and then brought the pieces back into the house.

Urban Electric Inuksuk

7 comments:

robin said...

It's gorgeous.

zoom said...

You guys are amazing! It's sheer genius. Keane's right, someone would have stolen it if you'd left it unattended for even a minute. Either that, or it would have followed somebody home.

What are you going to do with it?

Wilson said...

Perhaps an invitation to the event would have been a good idea? In the same way a gallery announces a new exhibit. Next time.

So was the decluttering mission helped by this activity in any way?

David Scrimshaw said...

Robin and Zoom, Thank You.

Wilson, you know you were welcome to drop by yesterday. Your idea of having an opening is a good one, but with all the amazing things happening here, people might get tired of them.

The disposition of the items:
a) Items that look functional will be tested and if they work, given a home.
b) Broken items will be stripped for useful art parts, with the non-useful discarded.
c) Unless someone wants to buy the whole thing for $2000.

zoom said...

You could auction it off for charity!

skylark said...

Standing on the corner like that with the sun reaching out behind his head, I'm reminded of a police officer waiting to pick off a speeder... just missing a radar gun and a sheriff's badge. Also brings back fond memories of my room is rez. How many watts per leg?

G said...

Wow, very cool. Nicely done David, you are my new favourite Ottawa blogger.