Straining Letters Into Noise

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Erin Crawford (she/her)

The Alternative Archive of Small (2022)The meandering process that The Alternative Archive of Small emerged through, and the series of objects I've created along the way, represent my uncomfortable but evolving relationship with time, rest, and work in a fast-moving, capitalist world. I've explored multiple modes of making–writing, painting, printmaking, performance, photography, and design–that when viewed collectively, call attention to the importance of a process-oriented design practice over commonly-held notions of “design as problem-solving.”
Multiple approaches to examine the intersections of time, rest, and work are explored in The Alternative Archive of Small. By juxtaposing different speeds of making, such as riso-printing or the process of creating an oil painting, I meditate on the labor and time it takes to create and reproduce work. Similarly, by documenting facets of the archive in spaces of rest, I question the ways our boundaries between work and rest are often blurred due to the various pressures we endure in late-stage capitalism.
I present this project in the format of a timeline to highlight the concept of process as final and call attention to the expansive and unreliable nature of time. By embracing a slow and multiplicious practice, I've been able to make work that feels small, restful, and imaginative in the face of a world that is often large, restless, and mundane.