Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Man in a Van

The man in question is Aaron Heideman. When he found himself out of a job and out of money, he decided to hit the road and collect Americans' stories about how the recession has affected them. This is where the van comes in. Inscribed with snippets of experiences, the van is now more than just a mode of transportation. It is an art piece. It is a story all its own.

The Man in a Van Project is nearing completion, though it will continue to travel and collect for the rest of September. Aaron is entering the van, and its companion scroll of stories, in an upcoming art contest. Check the calendar to see if he will be near you sometime soon. You can add your own story to the collection.

Some of the "stories" (which can be seen here) are Job-like litanies of what went wrong. Some are inspirational. Some are short and sad. Bitterness, hope, and fear all at the same time. I wonder what Aaron will do with these pieces of people once the contest is over. Whether he wins or not, this project seems poised to continue in some way...a book, a public installation, a documentary...something to celebrate this object that has now become part of America.

1 comment:

Donna Cappello said...

Sounds like something I would have loved to do! Wish I could see it.