As far as building things goes, I have never built anything quite like the giant squid. Frankly, I have never actually built a giant squid, so that goes without saying. Squids are dangerous, squishy, and gross, and they have giant eyeballs that follow you around, eyeing you suspiciously, lest you attempt to steal their giant treasure or reservoirs of ink. They know you. They know you have a huge report coming up, and you’ll be needing ink for your pen, and you’d like nothing more than to get your ink from a giant squid, so that you can stroll right up to the front of your class, in your flip-flops and Hawaiian shirt, and tell your teacher, “Here is my report, I got the ink from a giant squid”, and everybody will ooh and aah and marvel at Giant Squid Dude. And then you’ll get to date the head cheerleader.
So to Hell with the squid. It’s a bastard that won’t give up its ink. What I did build was a giant Nintendo game. I did not build it well, as far as general Nintendo game construction is concerned. But I did build it. I built it out of cardboard, and hot glue, and love, and blood, and sweat, and tears, and screaming and burning and cursing and smashing in walls with my fists in rage because the cardboard wouldn’t stay the hell together, but dammit, when you are asked to build a giant Nintendo game, by gum, you build it, and you smile, even when somebody else brings in a giant butane lighter that makes your Nintendo game look like last week’s solid waste products by comparison. And then you go home, and cry in your pillow.
As you might expect, I built this for my art studio class. There are very few other situations where it pays off to build a giant cardboard Nintendo game that you can’t play. There are very few job interviews, for example, where this is a plus:
Interviewer: Good morning, Mr. Jenkins, I see that you have all your paperwork with you, but something’s missing, I just can’t…
Jenkins: (pulls out a giant Nintendo game made out of cardboard.)
Interviewer: My God, that is BRILLIANT!
Jenkins: So does that mean I’m hired?
Interviewer: You can also have my daughter’s hand in marriage.
But of course, in an art studio class, as well as possibly applying to work at a cardboard box factory, cardboard construction–meaning “true high art, in corrugated form”–is extremely important. My teacher made sure to stress how important it is to know how to build objects out of only cardboard and hot glue. It’s apparently especially important in my chosen major, which happens to be architecture, a trade rivaled only by engineering in its pretentiousness. In architecture circles, I could build a pair of binoculars in front of a building and they would be considered fine art. Normal people, of course, would consider me to be mildly retarded. Many would stare.
But I am a pretentious asshole, and I view everyone else as being mildly retarded, so it all works out in the end, and everybody ends up equally right. My Nintendo game, however, is quite important to me. As a cardboard structure, it speaks to the power of weakness in large quantities, as my construction of the thing was weak, and the cardboard itself was weak, but if you combine them together, you get something that will still fall apart before I can get it home. It also speaks to love, as a child to his Nintendo game; and sadness, as when the screen of the game burns out, as it appears to have in my cardboard game.
Most importantly, though, my Nintendo game speaks to the human condition, which all too often manifests itself in the form of tiny objects with electrical parts in them. The Nintendo game is the most important manifestation of this manifestation. The creation of the Nintendo game is important in that it is a connection with the manifestation of life, which in itself is stationed in the direction of machinations with the imagination of the human condition, made real by the manifestation of more life created by the manifestation of the old life, which is now dead. This is very important to understanding my work. All of that last sentence? You need to understand all of it, in some fundamental way, to appreciate the unique directions I took in making a giant box out of cardboard.
So anyway, next time you’re playing a Game Boy, and you’re daydreaming, and thinking to yourself, and a flash comes to your mind, and you wonder what it would be like if they built one twenty-five times larger than the one currently in your hand, and you think this because you’ve been smoking marijuana, think of me and this work. Because art is nothing if it is not thought of. It’s a creation. And it requires manifestation. Naturally.