The Focus: Present.

Researching the word “present” gave me many different ideas about how I could go about making or keeping things present on the line. With my research I learned about present as a sense of being or time, a gift or showing something to somebody.

Through my proposal and other works, none of the ideas seemed to be working out. I changed my original proposal of the gifts, to capturing the present and leaving it on the line for a while on the line, so it would always be present. I asked people why, how, when, etc, they felt present on the line. I put these writings into bottles, and constructed frames to put around these bottles and hung them in the trees along the line. The frame was a way to keep the present there, because there was nothing but the bottle necessarily in the frame, and the line as well.

The idea did not necessarily make sense, so I scrapped it completely and started over. Because this idea did not work, I did further research in how I could keep or make something present on the line. 

I thought of everything that could be present on the line, but then not present, because nothing can always be present. Everything becomes the past as soon as it occurs.

The first thing on the line that I could think of being present and disappearing was the sun. I thought of how I could keep it’s presence when it wasn’t there. I used my last idea of captivation to capture the light and keep it present on the line when it wasn’t.

I used mason jars and candles to contain that sense of light. All along the line, I made a trail of the mason jars that were lit with the candles to show that the light was still present, even though it wasn’t there. This idea in a way is a compare contrast, to when the light source is there and when it is not.

When the sun was not out, the candles in the jars still gave off light for one walking the line to be able to see.  I took before and after pictures to represent the different presences that were left on the line.

When the sun was out, the light source was present. When the sun went down, there was a darkness present. I took photographs to show in the dark that when the candles were lit, a new light source became present, and when the candles were blown out, the darkness was present again.

These photos show before and after images that represent light being present on the line. I showed how the jars were when the sun was still present, and how they were when the sun was no longer present but the darkness was. I then showed how when the candles and light were blown out and there was no light source, the darkness was again present.

I had people blow out the candles in the photographs to show that they were taking away the presence of the lightness, like a mock of the sun going down and turning into darkness.

Through this idea, I want to communicate to the viewer that while something on the line is not present, there are ways to keep it present if it is not the original itself. The project gave me a different sense of the word and made me think in different ways about how I could use or make it.


The Proposal: Present

My proposal was an initial idea of every sense of the word “present.”

I wanted to use a sense of past, present, and future. I wanted to make gift boxes to represent each, and use things I find on the line inside of each box that represents a time period.

In the box that represented the past, I wanted to include things I had found on the line that had become the past because they were no longer where they were found. Their history on the line was no longer present, it had become the past. For the box that represented the future, I wanted to close off because what would happen on the line in the future was undetermined from that moment in time. You would not understand what happened in the future until it was occurring.

For the box that represented the present, I was unsure of what to include. I wanted to find things or show a way that that box was present on the line in that moment in time, because if it was moved off the line it automatically became the past. I wanted to include things that were ever present on the line, such as leaves, bottles, garbage, etc. Anything I found on the line that was always a reoccurring object would technically be “present” in a way.

The equipment I would need would include boxes and wrapping paper, to give the idea of a gift box or present. I would wrap each of the boxes with a certain type of wrapping paper that would represent presents. I was using the word “present” in all the ways one could think of.

The schedule for this idea would be documenting all of my findings from the time I found them, and when they made their way into the project.

Another idea I had was to create a time line out of the gift boxes on the line, representing the beginning of the line as the past, the middle as the present, and the end as the future. I would use boxes that included writings from people that each represented what the line meant in the present, past and future.

The Word; Present- The Past.

From the people I interviewed in the collection of words based off Present, many people talked to me about the past and the future coming before and after the present. People mostly thought of present as a current or fleeting moment.

In this collection, I made a collection of images from what I had found on the line, natural or man made, that had a past on the line. When thinking of the past, one might think of the word old. By looking at these things I found, I could tell that they had been there for a while, and had a past through what they presented themselves as in that moment/the present.

I had found foot prints, a broken tree, rusted objects, smashed pumpkins, and moved objects.

The foot prints show that somebody in the past had once been present standing in that spot on the line. It shows a moment someone once had in that spot in the past.

The broken tree, present on the line, shows a past of how it was once standing, and somehow had it’s branches knocked over, breaking the tree… leaving it looking broken in half for someone to see in the future.

The rusted objects, the wall and the rusted bar sticking out of the ground, had in the past been metal looking, and in the future over time had rusted over, leaving a rusted appearance for the future.

The smashed pumpkins had once belonged somewhere else, and someone had thrown them into the creek. They are presently existing on the line until they deteriorate in the future.

On the line, a rock had been moved leaving a puddle, which shows in the past that a rock had been present there, and in the future had left a mark showing absent presence for the future.

The Word; Presently Natural

In this collection I found things on the line that were naturally found. Things that were already present. This collection was easy because it was just things that were there. But I narrowed it down to what I found interesting myself, and the first things that had come to mind when I think of the line in the present tense.

The first natural thing I found and thought of on the line was running water. There is one main part which is mostly creek and I would say it runs through half of the line. The creek is always present.

The second thing I found were foot prints in the woods. Although these were man made, they’re also natural because in wet weather it is hard to not leave foot prints in wet mud. When I found these foot prints, I thought they showed somebody was once their in the present, but it is now the past.

The last collection are obvious objects anybody can find on the line, and they are always present. Leaves, branches, Acorns, berries, and what not. I connected these all to trees because no matter where you are on the line, Trees are always present in sight.

The Word: Present: Man made.

In my second collection, I walked the line and found things that were present; then and there in that very moment. For this collection I defined the word present as what is in front of me on the line in that very moment. So I decided to specify my collection search; I looked for man made things instead of natural things on the line. I looked for objects, architecture, vehicles and what not and documented it through photography.

All of these things I found present on the line were not naturally occurring, they were put there and man made. I found a man made bridge, a rusted metal wall, a bridge, a broken vacuum, a moved rock which was taking away something that was on the line in the past, cars, a road, tunnels, Zoe, a fence closing off part of the line, a sidewalk, foot prints and a railing.

I decided on this collection because when I think of things present on the line, I think of trees, leaves and other things that would naturally be placed there rather than man made things. Although some of the examples are natural, such as the moved rock and footprints, they were moved and added by someone, not a natural occurrence.

The Word: Present; PRESENTS

In this collection, I went up to people who passed me on the line. I first asked them to define the word present in their own way. For this collection though I did something different. I asked people to give me something in that moment, which I had considered as the present, that they didn’t care much for that they could give me. I decided that through this it in a way defined the way people thought of the past, present and future. Because of what they had given me as a present/gift, in the present/moment, it showed that that “present” had been from the past, and put into my future. If this makes sense??????? So with each present somebody gave me, I made a collection of presents/gifts, on part of the line during the present time/moment.

I was given a  pop tart wrapper, a receipt, a battery package, a plastic baggie, an empty pack of cigarettes, an empty pack of gum, a penny, part of a zipper, torn pieces of paper and a magnet.

Through this collection and the presents people had given me, it had shown in a way that people didn’t care for these things in the past, present or future.

The Word: Present; What does it mean?

For my first collection, I found different people through out the line to collect their responses that had to do with my word. Going up to strangers and asking them to define a word in their own way is pretty funny in some cases. I first showed each person the word “present.” After showing them the word without saying it, I asked them what they thought it was, how they defined it and the first thing that comes to mind with the word.

Different people had different responses to the word and took it in different ways, such as giving a gift, a moment or a presentation. I collected each response in a journal briefly.

Here are a collection of responses:

In the moment. Christmas. Current. Now. Gift. Giving. Presentation. Being aware of your surroundings. To be there in the moment. Right here. The here and now. A sliver of time. Always. Fully engaged in the moment. When you show something to someone else. Ways to show yourself. Time before something is sent. Project. I don’t know. The little bit of time once recognized that is gone. Past, future, present. Present me with a present in the present. Give gift now. Gift now. Time. Speaking. Michael Present. Beautiful. Being in front of people. Opening. Family. Love. Time.

How to be an Explorer of the World: Exploration #2

On my travels, this is a list of things I noticed. I used brief notes and different times of day in order to list these.

In the morning on the way to class:

1.) Other people walking

2.) Cold air/breath

3.) falling leaves

4.) The sun just rising

5.) Cars passing

In the afternoon:

1.) Warmer air

2.) Bright sun

3.) people walking

4.) cars passing

5.) people walking in and out of buildings.

6.) People on their phones

7.) people walking in groups

At night:

1.) The sun setting

2.) cold air

3.) very few people walking

4.) people on their phones

5.) leaves on the ground

6.) acorns on the ground

7.) tipped over garbage can

8.) cigarette butts

9.) lit up buildings

Word Definition: Present


This is me being present. defines the word present as:


1. being, existing, or occurring at this time or now; current: the present ruler.
2. at this time; at hand; immediate: articles for present use.

verb (used with object)

1. to furnish or endow with a gift or the like, especially by formal act: to present someone with a goldwatch.
2. to bring, offer, or give, often in a formal or ceremonious way: to present one’s card.
3. afford or furnish (an opportunity, possibility, etc.).

4. to hand over or submit, as a bill or a check, for payment: The waiter presented our bill for lunch.

After defining the word, I used the thesaurus to find other words to explain the word “present,” which can be used as a verb, adjective, noun, etc.

Synonyms: Current, Begun, Contemporary, Commenced, Instant, Modern, Prompt, Started, Today, Already, At this moment, existent, induration, etc.

Antonyms: Late, old, absent, away, distant, far, former, future, past, previous.

Related words: Accord, Acquaint, Advance, Allege, Appear, Argue.

With this word, there are many different ways to use it. It can be used as one existing, such as being present in class. It can be a duration of time, the past and the present. It can be a way to show items, presenting to people, and it can be giving some form of gift to people. This word can be used in many different ways. And through the line, you can find different ways to explain it.

If one was to say they were present on the line, they would be standing on the line. For example, here is me and Isabella Herman being present on a portion of the line.

When the word “Present” is google searched, many different options for the word come up. Here are some images of what I found.

What I found had to do with the past, present and future, a strange time line somebody made about the present, and a badly wrapped christmas gift. Each of these images show how the word present can be differently used in different senses of the word.

What I find most interesting about the word, is it can be used in many different ways. I think that is cool that it is many different words in one word.

Exploring the Line: How to be an Explorer of the World #31 and #50

Found Sounds and Found Smells.

While walking on the line, I figured sounds and smell went hand and hand.

It was difficult to document sounds and smells, so I wrote them down and will document them here.

Obviously, while walking you will here many different sounds. Especially in the woods. Under my feet I could hear the crunching leaves and branches that had fallen to the ground. Since it’s fall that’s an obvious thing to hear. As the line progressed, you could hear cars passing as you crossed the road, and people talking amongst themselves as they walk by. Since it was windy at the time, you could hear leaves rustling overhead and branches knocking against each other. You could hear leaves hitting the pavement, and since for some reason there are acorns all over campus, acorns underneath your feet as you kick them. In wooded areas of the line I could hear my feet sticking in the wet mud and making a gross sloshing noise.

The smells were harder to describe. As I walked I could smell the fresh autumn air, like wet leaves and falling leaves and just coldness around me. The smell of mud as I walked through the woods was apparent because the ground was wet. Being able to smell things was a lot harder than it was to hear them. As I got out of wooded areas and near the portion of the line in front of the dining hall, I could smell fumes of cars that were passing, and the scent of food leaving the building as I walked by.

Through this exploration I learned that unless there are apparent smells, it is very difficult to find some sort of scent on the line. Being able to hear is a lot more easier, because it keeps your ears open to whatever it is that is going on around you.