Derek Pollard







When in 1993 I was a student at the San Francisco Art Institute, I lived on the streets of San Francisco and Berkeley. I would spend most of my days on campus taking advantage of the calm and safety there, sleeping in various shaded alcoves when not in class. One of the few places I was able to do any work (which required a level of simple concentration I quickly became incapable of) was the small campus library, which had a collection of rare alchemical books and manuscripts. I would spend afternoons copying out symbols and recipes into one of the small notebooks I carried with me and making photocopies of pages that struck a particular chord. The image here is from one of those books, as is the text, although in altered form. In conjunction with my alchemical studies, I was also working on various iterations of the Gysin-Burroughs cut-up method. The text here is the result of one such experiment, which uses an excerpt from the page on which the image appears. Although I like to think that it's more than merely a fool's errand, it may be that that's all this type of play ever amounts to.