The SAD Project
Sculptureaday (or SAD) developed from a conversation I had with Bryne McLaughlin, Managing Editor of Canadian Art magazine, about how little time we had in the office to discuss art, artistic practice and art production. We decided to inject something tangible into our work lives. Its first iteration consisted of weekly random, spontaneous and provisional sculptures that we would make and hide for each other in places around the office. The project stopped with my departure from Canadian Art.
Bryne and I talked about moving some form of our previous activity to a website, but weren’t sure how. In 2013, we came up with an idea to find spontaneous sculptural manifestations in the places where we lived or visited. We would photograph these pre-existing assemblages of everyday, workaday items or colour combinations or other peculiar agglomerations and share them. One of us would post an image of a found sculpture every day, and the other person post the next, and so on. The name “sculptureaday” was obvious and the acronym is excellent.
The sculptureaday blog launched in March 2013, and we started inviting other artists to contribute. The current contributors number eighteen Canadian artists from across the country and abroad; a very small selection of their found sculptures are pictured here. (As of mid-May, there are 1,112 images on the site.)
As we state on the blog, SAD was conceived to “demystify—or perhaps re-mystify—contemporary art-making from the margins of workaday life” and to specialize “in found sculptural circumstances, spontaneously constructed fantasies and otherwise unexpected observations on the plastic arts.” A first, the SADs (our name for the images) were posted as they arrived, but over the past year and half it has become a curated project; each SAD posting is considered in relationship to previous posts, with an eye towards what will be posted next. We title the SADs after the date on which the image is submitted.
We’re not certain where SAD fits within art historical or contemporary contexts, though I see a similar approach in the Situationist International’s practice of psychogeography, through which people explored urban environments while engaging places in the city playfully and with curiosity. The SADs that are posted often have an “art-like” appearance or seem to aspire to life as a work of art. But, maybe that’s not too much of a stretch since the contributors are artists, so the SADs can be considered works of art.
I see SAD as an extension of my own practice, which often explores issues and ideas that surround and make up the contemporary city. Many contributors and people following SAD tell me that as the project has shaped how they see the city. Art may not be everywhere, but SAD proves that anyone can stumble upon something art-like anywhere at anytime.
Sara Graham is an artist living Vancouver. She is represented by MKG127 in Toronto. She is currently working on the production of a book of SAD images and has plans to launch a “paintingaday” (PAD) blog.