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32 The Collected Writings of Michael Snow to work in a very all-inclusiveway so that some of the work includes the trivial. Every kind of paint available was used, from oils to acrylics, spray enamels, Day-Glo colours, metallic paints, etc. The figure was mass-produced on T-shirts and ties and on printed stickers, which were used in many ways and sent to many places in the world. Things and events were made which were casual and ephemeral, as well as things which were carefully planned, constructed and, hopefully, of lasting value. A friend of mine made a needlepoint pillow cover using a Walking Woman design I made. The most recent and most ambitious work is the eleven-part stainless-steel sculptural composition at the Ontario Pavilion at Expo. Every thing and event has its own context and it's probably better to be sensitive than dead. I wrote some of this in a summer place on Long Island, so if you occasionally hear the sound of waves on the shore, that's how they got there. It's the Atlantic Ocean. Some of it was written on rainy days and some of that might be in there too. I live in New York, and one can develop an extraordinary hunger for nature there, so that every summer there is this absolute necessity to get away from the city to breathe again, see a plant or two, be in the sunlightand have an unusually clear look at the moon. According to some scientific generalizations earth began two billion years ago and two million years ago human beings like us appeared. The age of technology is hardly a hundred years old, but coincidentally in these few brief years wilderness has almost vanished. There were recently proposals before the U.S. Congress to quote "improve the Grand Canyon in Colorado." Two dams would back up artificial lakes into 148 miles of fantastic canyon gorge. If you have ever seen the Grand Canyon, you will, I think, understand what a colossal crime is involved in this suggestion. The American Bureau of Reclamation, which has backed them, has called the dams quote "cash registers ." It expects the dams to make money by the sale of commercial power. As a side issue to this, they argue that this would benefit tourists in power boats who would enjoy viewing the canyon wall more closely. The Sierra Club, an organization dedicated to saving wilderness and to whom I am indebted for information on this subject, headlines a pamphlet about it quote "Should we also flood the Sistine Chapel so tourists can get nearer the ceiling?" I think that Canada has some possibility of keeping some kind of at least relatively sane balance between the all-too-human tendency to exploit absolutely everything, turning it into garbage, and the admission that a lot of other things have a right to live too and that we are part of something and not just a separate manipulator of everything. In this respect we might profit from the many mistakes of our neighbour and employer the United States.. . . We might. . . . Of course those who go first are more likely to make mistakes than those who follow. This may apply to the arts and crafts. One of the answers to the "why live in New York" question is that the evidence of the neurotic basis of the evolution of man is much more apparent there than anywhere else in the world and I fit in. There's no deception. It's very plain that we are very mixed-up animals, and it's a great comfort to be confronted with constant proof. But one does need a holiday. Anyway, there's a lot of land left in Canada that's yet to be paved and we've only a few cities, but I think that the question here is, Is it okay to be a rustic in the city? Or, Is it possible to be a rustic in the city? Well, of course it's OK. Who's to say it isn't? It's still possible too. But in the future? Machines will more and more make it possible for handwork to continue. We're in a phase right now, however, where what was once primitive becomes a luxury and then often later appears as an affectation. Crafts 33 As in considering types of art, there is a sort of scale in the ways of making works of art...


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