The “Dark Woods, Light Woods” project in the RISD / Brown University student newspaper:
“She (Leona) didn’t see Gavin’s lists as artistically significant until she studied art in college and was introduced to Ed Ruscha’s “Every Building on the Sunset Strip” (1966), a comprehensive photo documentation of every building on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. Leona explained, “Ruscha’s piece taught me that deadpan delivery of visual information—when it carried social, poetic, or emotional content—could be art.” Leona told the Independent that she has taken on the task of translating Gavin’s projects “from an ephemeral medium (word processor ink on copy paper) to an archival medium (fine art printmaking).”
Gavin is something of an archivist, and Leona considers herself an archivist of his archives. His lists are repetitive and sometimes fictionalized. In a video documenting the pair’s road trip to Chicago, posted on their blog darkwoodslightwoods.wordpress.com, Gavin records the business hours of a bakery as opening one hour earlier and closing one hour later than stated on the sign. In a talk that Leona gave at Brown on October 25th, she pointed out that Gavin, in documenting dates of births and marriages, always records them as one year earlier—retroactively extending their duration, if only in his archive. He calls this time “extra bonus days.” When the Independent asked him when he began considering his lists ‘projects’ he said, “The real life version answer is June 30, 1990. The fictionalized version answer is July 1st, 1989.”
Gavin’s library of books and hand-written or typed “projects” (lists, directions, and autobiographical documentation) are updated and discarded/recycled by him weekly, monthly, or yearly, whenever the information contained within expires and/or the publishers issue a new edition. He has been filling up a spiral notebook with written projects on the average of one a month.