ways if i just
WHEN: May 3&4, 2014 / ArtWalk weekend in Lancaster, PA
WHERE: Modern Art & various locations in the city of Lancaster
WHAT: A social experiment about success and failure
PROCESS: We started with the Thomas Edison quote, “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” and thought about how we could transform that sentiment into separate word paintings on blocks of wood. We broke the phrase into the following segments with the intent of hiding them in selected places throughout Lancaster city.
I HAVEN’T FAILED
IF I JUST
On the back of each painting, we included a message, “If found, kindly return to Modern Art, located at 529 West Chestnut Street, Lancaster, PA 17603. You will be handsomely rewarded.” We posted LOST/REWARD flyers around town with a photo of one of the words and a request for its return. On the first morning of Lancaster’s ArtWalk, we quietly hid each of the word paintings around local landmarks. We weren’t sure how many (if any) would be returned to us, but planned on making a new phrase with the words that did.
HOW DID IT GO?:
Throughout the day people came to Modern Art to return the found words. They were greeted with cheers and immediately escorted to the Winner Circle where they were rewarded with a handshake a trophy and photograph. We finished the weekend with seven out of the nine word/s that we’d hidden. From the seven words we made this new phrase, “I haven’t failed the ten thousand found that won’t work.” The words, “IF I JUST,” and “WAYS” were removed from their locations but never returned. We’ve taken this phrase to heart– never fail to appreciate those paths that don’t work. Because maybe working isn’t always what you’re on the path for.
Below you will find the story with photographs by Code at Growing Tree Photography