Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Marketed Personality

I reject the notion that success hinges mostly on the prowess of one's ability to market well. I remember reading a book from the 50's (can't remember the name now) which warned that in the future the worth of an individual -- their creative labor, would be heavily dependent upon how willing they were to conform to the dictates of mass marketing. To me, this book was prescient. I would argue that we as a society have not only uncritically accepted mass marketing as a kind of panacea to societal ills, but that our minds have been so colonized by mass marketing that we are barely capable of thinking in terms outside of it.

As an artist I run up against this all the time. If I talk passionately about how in general, there is a lack of coverage and respect given to the arts and how this lack of coverage and respect has the very real effect of ensuring that artists are seldom paid for their efforts, inevitably someone will say to me "Why don't you try marketing." Or, "Who are you marketing to?" And it's not just the arts. I see this reflexive notion all the time. If you don't get the job you wanted people will say maybe you just didn't market yourself the right way. Increase your sales -- try marketing. Become a brand. Get out there and sell yourself. Have you tried merchandising? How about corporate sponsorships?

I have noticed over the years that it is very difficult for people to talk about "value" without talking about it in terms of marketing and the larger context of the economy. It's as if most things are reduced to the cold calculus of economic calculation. My success, according to how others perceive the value of what I do, cannot be imagined outside of the realm of economic calculation. So my economic failure as an artist becomes a failure of my ability to market myself as opposed to a societal failure in finding imaginative ways to support culture and artists. The onus of responsibility becomes perverted whereas the victims of an exploitative economy are not only the ones tasked with changing it, but are blamed for their own lack of economic success. They are granted none of the levers of power and wealth that the so called "successful" people have created and maintained for their own benefit, and when these carefully crafted and maintained disparities are pointed out, the retort is once again the panacea of marketing.

The mythos is that to be successful all you have to do is maintain a positive outlook on life and market yourself. The problem with this is that such a simplistic view of success obfuscates the larger and more systemic problems which are at the heart of an exploitative system. It masks how power and wealth actually operate. In fact it not only masks it, but worse, power and wealth become celebrated and conflated with creativity and genius. We give deference to those with wealth because our culture has taught us that to be wealthy is akin to being more capable than the rest of the underperforming masses.

Wealth is not created, it is experienced. It is visceral. The challenges of the poor are not the same as the challenges of the rich. Hunger for food is never the same as the hunger for maintaining one's privilege.

Wealth is inherently a function of vertical transference as opposed to horizontal transference. To become wealthy in our society one always has to make others more money than what their labor costs. Kim Kardashian is afforded millions because she makes the owners of the network much more than she receives back. Basketball players are given millions because they make the networks and the owners more money than they get back. Whatever wage you make is worth more than what the company you work for pays back to you. As long as money flows up to the owners as opposed to horizontally to the workers, your value is maintained. Your job is secure, unless of course someone is willing to do it for less. In such a society, competition is sacrosanct whereas the collective burden we all share is denigrated. We become lone agents whose success is determined by out-competing our neighbor. And how does one out-compete their neighbor -- by working harder, by being more intelligent, or more creative? Sometimes, but increasingly those who are being rewarded by wealth are those who are willing to conform their minds and bodies to the dictates of mass marketing. This isn’t to say that hard work is never rewarded, but should a little honesty be applied here, it’s not too difficult to see that the rewards given to the working class are not the same in measure or in deference to those rewards heaped upon the investor class.  

I have come into contact with a lot of brilliant people who are largely excluded from popular media. And yet, I am inundated with all sorts of celebrities and quasi-intellectuals who get good ratings but have little in the way of imaginative thoughts. But since they make their owners money, we are force fed a daily gruel of misinformed fantasies. I have met all sorts of amazingly creative and talented people, yet their voices are seldom heard in popular media. Talent which is not easily exploited is rarely rewarded. Not just monetarily, or in terms of respect for what they do, but in terms of allowing them to inhabit a space in our minds. And yet, so much space in our minds is readily given over to the countless messages we receive daily by the army of marketers who man the machinery of mass commercialization which dominates every conceivable niche of our society. It’s easy to escape a day without coming into contact with art, not so easy to avoid on any given day, some kind of ad.

Connectivity has become a buzzword because in our parlance it means a mode of transmission by which one gadget communicates to another gadget. Through that communicative process, data is extracted and converted through marketing, into wealth. So, what is the value of ideas in relation to the connectivity of minds absent of marketing and the economic sphere?

I, as an artist, convey an idea to the viewer by means of visual transmission. In my absence, yet through my creative labor, my art, as an object which embodies not just ideas, but also an ideal(s), gives freely to those who stand in relation to it. Anyone can venture into a gallery and freely partake in the transmission of ideas. Great artists, by which I mean those who have truly mastered their art form and are somewhat unique in their perspective, ought to be celebrated for their amazing contributions to our society and our culture. It is to the detriment of the whole that this free transference of ideas is not taken seriously unless the art and the artist is selling well, that is, making the gallery or an auction house considerable money. The voices of all but the highest paid artists are largely ignored by mass media. And even when these artists are heard, their message is often lost amidst the perverse fascination we have with how much some rich collector paid for their last painting. Was it eighty million dollars or one hundred million dollars? It’s almost as if the sole arbiter of greatness can be measured in terms of a number on a spreadsheet. In truth, most artists are ignored and yet told that being ignored is largely a product of their own failings. It is true, that within that small sphere which some call the art world (a world apart from all the others?) great value is placed on what artists do, but unfortunately, it is all too easily drowned out by the flatulent cacophony and endless prattle of our consumer culture. To be an artist is akin to practicing semaphore in a hurricane. Before you convey a single message, the gale force winds rip off your arms.  

And yet, so much attention and money is paid out to those who yes, are savvy marketers, but have little in the way of new ideas. Donald Trump comes to mind. He has been handsomely rewarded by our culture not because he creates masterpieces, solves societal ills, has great physical abilities, or a towering intellect, but simply because he caters to those like him, that is, the rich. Slathering everything with giant gold letters which bares your name is great branding, but is it good for our society? And in order to be "successful" should I as an artist do the same? Is it even a fair assumption that I am capable of the same?

No. I do not possess the same levers of wealth and power, that people like Trump possess and maintain. I do not have a staff working for me. I do not have excess dollars to spend on marketing. I am barely staying afloat, treading water in an economy that is leaving more and more people behind. I am not granted free airtime because I am rich or ridiculous in ways that matter (reality T.V. I am thinking of you here). I have no access to the endless hours and money spent on sports, reruns, commercials, infomercials, home shopping, reality T.V., and the thousands of other modes of transmission which have little to do with the arts. I do not stand in opposition to such programming, this is not an argument for either/or, but instead, an argument for both/and. I am not expecting parity or to be given equal footing with the endless parade of clich├ęd ideas. Entertainment is a powerful tool wielded by the rich and powerful in order to maintain our passivity. No, I do not believe there is a cabal whose goal is to keep us passive. Passivity is merely a function of not being a direct participant in what is being created. The beauty of art however, is that to fully comprehend its message, one has to become engaged with it. One has to actively seek out its meaning. The surface beauty of a work of art is merely a reaction. A knee jerk reaction which states one's aesthetic taste. Saying you like or dislike something, however, is not the same as understanding it. Being a passive viewer of entertainment is not the same as being an active member in the creation of culture.

This is why I feel people struggle with artistic endeavors. It's easy to sit back and enjoy a show or watch a game. The drama of a game or the entertainment value of a show is based on the enjoyment we receive from being a passive participant in what we are watching. Entertainment is immediate gratification, tends towards simplicity, and generally, reinforces our already established beliefs about the world. Most of what we consume is self-serving. It's easier to market, by way of commercials, to the masses when we willing give up our minds and our bodies to our television sets, cell-phones, computers, tablets, etc. Our minds are constantly invaded by brands, catchy slogans, talking points, tired ideas, commercials – just to name a few.

It’s rare that anyone ever asks, but nonetheless, as an artist, I give freely my ideas. My work embodies within its creation, a way of not only seeing which is different, but through its creation, a different way of being in the world. A mode of being which creates without asking first, what is it worth? My ideas, my labor, the pain of my body as I toil, my love, my passion, my sweat, my dollars, coalesce before your eyes and become manifest in an object which, should you come to a gallery opening, you will be free to engage with without having to pay a cent. Should not such endeavors be valued, not just in some form of monetary enumeration, but in respect? Is it too much to ask that a space be carved out of our consumer driven culture, a space which allows for culture to flourish, free from economic swindling? Is it too much to ask that we try at times, to be active participants in the exchange of ideas as opposed to blind passive automatons chasing after the next self-gratifying program?

I wholly reject the notion that it is my responsibility to bear the burden of changing our culture. I do my part, I create. I talk endlessly and passionately about what I believe in. I work and work and work, to master my art. I am always learning and experimenting with new techniques. My labor, my money, even my sanity at times, is lost to my artwork. And should I raise the banner for a brief moment and exclaim to the world that to the robbers go the spoils, people's response tends to be either one of outright denial, or to castigate the messenger. Give the voiceless and the powerless a voice and power, and should we fail to convince, then by all means eviscerate our ideals. I will gladly offer you my gut for the cutting.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Salted and Breaded, but Never Baked

                Several years ago I began to make the transition away from paper based collage work to more dimensional work that has an organic feel to it. One of the first upcycled materials I began to experiment with were toilet paper and paper towel tubes.  I quickly learned what materials could be applied to the outside of the tube in order to give it a crusty textural look. I also learned what materials could be stuffed in the tubes in order to make them look as if various types of growth were sprouting out of their tops.
                People often praise the use of color in my work. Though I am not certain, I feel the vibrancy and natural feel of the color is derived from the various dyes I use as opposed to paint. Acrylic paint, when applied to many surfaces other than canvas, tends to have a plastic and somewhat fake feel to it. Paint is bright, smooth, and its luminosity at times can be harsh. Dyes on the other hand, readily soak into natural materials whereas paints tend to coat. In essence, dyes leave the textural qualities of work like mine in tact whereas paint would destroy it by smothering such materials in a thin coating of colored latex. The crusty, dye infused coatings on my work allow the light to bounce off at irregular angles creating a diffuse warmer hue. The challenge for me then, while experimenting with dyes as an external color choice, was to find a material that was cheap enough to cover large sections of artwork and could soak up either dyed water or sprinkled dye sprayed with water. My first choice was salt.
                At first I began to experiment with regular table salt. It was an excellent medium for soaking up color, but its granules were so small that the textural element I was looking for was lacking. I even did some experiments, with varying degrees of success, in growing dye infused salt crystals. Unfortunately, the crystals remained small and the process was too involved for large scale application.
                Quickly I began to think of larger types of salts which would give my work a more pronounced textural element. I experimented with road salt, or de-icing salt. This type of salt was too large and often too dirty for use. I tried breaking it up into smaller granules but found the process to not be worth the time and effort. The only good thing about de-icing salt was the fact that it is so cheap, still though, it proved to be unworthy of the task at hand. The next salt I began to use was Epsom salt. Its granules were medium size; it soaked up water well, was relatively cheap, and easy to apply. For the next few years I used Epsom salt as my main material for producing texture on my work. Some days I would chuckle inside as I bought four large containers of Epsom salt, thousands of cotton swabs, and lighter fluid from a grocery store, all of which were supplies for my artwork. I can only imagine what the cashier thought – maybe she thought I had some kind of alien skin rash?
                I later learned that the major downside to Epsom salt was at times it tended to get brittle and turn into a powdery white substance. Sometimes it did this despite the coats of acrylic spray and matte medium I used to ensure the Epsom salt remained stable.  Most of it did not get brittle but even in small amounts I felt the look detracted from the overall beauty of my work. The salt was originally used on my first Polyp pieces, a little bit on my first Accretion piece, on my first Termitaria install, and a little on my first Peridium piece.

Polyp #1

Accretion #1 (Yellow middle part -- salted, all other pieces are breaded.)

Peridium #1 (A mix of salt and oatmeal mostly on the sides of individual pieces.)

Termitaria Collinasia (All pieces have been breaded.)

                While using Epsom salt I began to experiment with oatmeal. It was a little more expensive than salt and a bit chunkier, two qualities I was not thrilled about. It did however have a strength that salt did not possess, that is it did not break down and turn white in some instances like salt did. Still though, it took me a year or more after some of my initial experiments to come around to oatmeal. The real change of heart came when I got a small mechanical grinder that allowed me to crush the oatmeal into rough flour. Now I had a material that was relatively cheap, easily applied, could readily soak up water, and did not degrade as easily as salt did.
                So yes, at first my art was salted and now it is breaded. And no, you shouldn’t try and eat it for the outside is always coated with acrylic sprays, and either matte medium or polycrylic. Recently, in order to increase the subtleness of color variations on the surface of my material, I have also been applying various amounts and types of colored sand. Soon I hope to begin experiments on how to dye my own sand. I am doing this because the variety of colored sand you can buy at craft stores leaves out many colors I wish I had access to. I will also be looking into how various other grains work when crushed up, and I have even given some thought about experimenting with sawdust. This will have to wait though for I do not currently have access to a steady flow of sawdust by which to do experiments with.

                As you can see, I am always trying out new textural elements, materials, and colors which I feel are more natural and pleasing to the eye than paint could ever be.            

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Peridium #1

Peridium #1


Peridium #1
30" in diameter  with a depth of approximately 32"
Materials used: Up-cycled egg cartons, paint, dye, salt, sand, plaster, and model railroad gravel.




Thursday, August 7, 2014

Invasive Biomes

At MadLab Gallery

July 2, 2014 – COLUMBUS, OHIO – As an artist and observer of natural occurrences, artist Jonah Jacobs’ ceaseless goal to unlock the mysteries of natural structures can be explored during a very special exhibition, “Invasive Biomes,” running July 11–26 at MadLab Theatre.

“Nature presents itself in a dizzying array of organic shapes and structures. From the graceful spiral arms of galaxies to the nebulous webs created by tree roots, to the hexagonal geometry of honeycomb – the structures of nature are wondrous creations where beauty meets function, and the repeating of simple patterns enigmatically give rise to complexity,” Jacobs says. “Whereas some artists paint a two-dimensional representation of a bush, flower, or some other naturally occurring element onto canvas, my work instead deconstructs such elements, extracting from them their inherent qualities, so as to later recreate these qualities by means of capturing and presenting the essence of their magical form and poetic beauty.”

View this exhibition July 11–26 during the MadLab theatre production, “The Young Writers Short Play Festival” at 227 North 3rd Street in Columbus. There is no admission to view the artwork. Hours are: July 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26 from 7:00–8:00pm and by appointment.

An opening reception with light refreshments will be held Saturday, July 12 from 5:00–7:00pm at MadLab Theatre and Gallery.

About the Artist: Jonah Jacobs
Jonah is an artist who lives and works in Cleveland Ohio. He was born in Denmark but has lived in the United States for most of his life. He is a graduate of Antioch College. He is also an Army veteran who served in S. Korea and in the 82nd Airborne Division.

Accretion #1

Accretion #1
Mixed Media
3' in diameter. Approximately 30" in height.

Accretion #1 consists of hundreds and possibly close to a thousand individual cardboard pieces which have been fire sculpted, painted, sprinkled with salt and oatmeal, and finally -- dyed using fabric dyes and fabric paints to create a vibrant textural sculptural piece which mimics the beautiful textures found everywhere in nature. The materials used are cardboard, paint, salt, dye, oatmeal, and plaster. 

Green Internode #1


Green Internode #1
Mixed Media
3' diameter. Approximately 2' in height. 

Green Internode #1 consists of hundreds of individually rolled cardboard pieces which have been fire sculpted, painted, dyed, and altered in various other means to create and organic looking sculptural piece. Materials used were: Cardboard, paint, dye, salt, oatmeal, plaster, cotton swabs, cotton swab sticks, and some fiber. 

Blue and Violet Polyp #1

Brown and Rust Polyp #1

Orange Polyp #1

The above three polyp pieces are 2' x 2', consist of cardboard tubes, paint, dye, plaster, cotton swabs, salt, oatmeal and various fabrics and yarns. They were created between 2012 and 2013. 

The Lines Begin to Blur

The Lines Begin to Blur
Dyed Paper
2' x 2'

The Lines Begin to Blur consists of tens of thousands (approximation) of individual paper pieces which are hand applied using tweezers. A piece such as this one takes months of tedious and diligent work to complete. 

Purple, Blue, Green Polyp #1 (small)

Purple, Blue, and Green Polyp #1 (small)
Mixed Media
Approx: 3' in length and 18" wide.

This Polyp piece is the first in a series using small tube which were individually hand crafted using construction paper. 

Various Small Works on Wooden Boxes

The above pictures represent pieces using various materials including cardboard, paint, salt, dye, sand, and plaster. The last picture in the series shows twenty pieces which were made from up-cycled coffee cup bottoms. 


This Untitled piece consists of hundreds of small cut cardboard pieces individually glued into place then painted and dyed, then smothered with salt and plaster in order to create a gritty biological looking sculptural piece.

Dynamic World

Dynamic world is an older piece that I decided to include in this show in order to show the progression of my artwork. Dynamic World consists of hundreds of individual pieces that have been painted and colored using markers to create a vibrant world of color. A world which looks as if it were created using the vivid colors of a child's imagination.

Various Small Pieces on Wooden Boxes

The above two pictures show various small works using cardboard, paint, dye, salt, and plaster. 

Various Small Works on Canvas


The above three pictures represent various small works completed on canvas.  The materials used are too numerous to list, but a sample of the materials is as follows: paint, dye, salt, plaster, cotton swabs, cardboard, paper tubes, cork, dryer sheets, lint, etc. . . 

The installation of the Invasive Biomes show was an extremely difficult affair. My girlfriend and I left the day before the install to travel to Columbus Ohio from Cleveland Ohio. We loaded the entire contents of the show into her Honda Pilot. To do so we had to create shelves in the back of her vehicle while also piling many of the smaller pieces on top of her SUV using bins and many, many, bungie cords. 

We dropped off the work with little difficulty then headed out to eat, followed by a night at a nearby motel.

The next day however, more than made up for the ease of the day before. We arrived at the gallery at 10 a.m. and immediately got to work. First we unpacked everything, did a cursory layout of where all the art was going to go on the walls, and after that I began to repair the little bit of damage done to a couple of my pieces during the loading process.

Initially we had little difficulty getting the art on the walls. Trouble didn't begin to take shape until we attempted to install the largest piece: Accretion #1. 

I had just finished this piece the day before and really wanted it to be the central piece in this art show. Accretion #1 has an amazing presence especially when viewed head on while facing the wall. Pieces like this one are always a challenge to hang because it's impossible to know in advance if the armature or cradle I made to hang it with will work the way I intended it to. Also, I never know what the end weight and distribution will be until the piece is finished. This piece turned out to be much heavier than expected weighing in at most likely, over one hundred pounds. To make matters worse there is no easy way to grip this piece since it is round and the pieces jut out over the edge of its frame. We were also worried that the wall, which was plaster, would not hold the weight of the piece. 

We had to try though, I would not be content had we not given it our all. After driving in two leveled nails, it was time to lift this behemoth into place. My girlfriend and I grabbed a side, then I slid around to the front of the piece while she held on to the left side as she glided it up the wall onto the nails. The piece was very heavy and I was worried that some of the pieces were being crushed because a good portion of it was resting on my chest. I pushed while she guided -- my arms were burning and shaking, but slowly we got it into place and secured on the nails. Success! Or so I thought. Within a few seconds, the plaster wall on the right side began to give way. The nail was tearing downward through the plaster. Despite our valiant effort -- it would not hold. Briefly, I contemplated taking a picture, for while it was on the wall, it looked magnificent. Not risking to leave it up any longer, we took it down. Instead of giving up though, we rewired the back of the piece, removing screws and doubling up on the cable in the back of the piece. 

The rewiring took about an hour and a half. Had anyone been watching it would have been a comical site. The two of us were on the ground working beneath this piece which was less than a foot off the ground on a wheeled platform. We must have looked like a couple of crazed mechanics, but except of working on a car we were working on the guts of an unruly art piece. Hungry, tired, hot, and dehydrated, it was time to make another go at getting this piece on the wall. Nails were nailed into a new spot on the wall and soon it was time to try again. 

The second attempt had me even more worried than the first attempt. My forearms were bruised and had small lacerations on them from bearing the weight of this art piece. It has a lip on it that goes around its entire circumference and it has a tendency to really cut into your forearms anytime it is lifted. Also, my muscles were tired from the previous attempt -- the lack of food wasn't helping things either. 

The funniest part of the whole ordeal was when my girlfriend, using her creativity and imagination, made me a pair of gauntlets for my forearms using paper towels and duct tape. We dubbed them "The Gauntlets of Power" The amazing thing is, they actually worked. These bizarre paper and duct tape wraps actually did protect my forearms from further abrasions and provided padding enough to allow me to soldier on. With a heave and much groaning we made our last attempt. Unfortunately though, we encountered the same results. Within  a few seconds the plaster began to tear again. In defeat, we took it down. 

Eventually I settled on putting Accretion #1 on an upturned table that doubled as a pedestal. It didn't look as amazing as it did while on the wall, but despite all of this, it still commanded a heady presence.

 The rest of the day was not as challenging, but gruelling in other ways. Having a lot of small pieces to put on the wall, all of which had to be equal distance from one another and leveled, made for a tedious and monotonous day. In the end though, the two of us put up an entire show in twelve hours. We did so by grit alone. We didn't eat nor take any breaks from the moment we got there until after 11 p.m. We also had little fluid the whole day, which, to make matters worse, was a hot and humid day. 

And after all of this, my girlfriend had to drive home in a rainstorm that lasted almost the entire drive home. She also had to be at work a few hours after getting home that night in order to work a twelve hour day. Without her determination, creativity, and love, I could not have done it. And to any of you out there who thinks art is easy, all I have to say is, you are wrong. It may not be the hardest thing in the world, but it is far from easy. ----Jonah Jacobs----

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Imagine walking down your average city street in America. Especially in an area hard hit by economic collapse. Storefronts lie vacant, the streets are barren, paint peels off weather worn walls, and signs which once advertised booming businesses rust and droop from caving in facades. Tired, the city sighs the sullen exhalation of years of neglect. On such streets, nature waits patiently, longing for the day of its verdant return. In broken sidewalks, sprouting up amidst the cracks, grass springs up in tufts of green spray. The roots of trees, with herculean effort, push up concrete slabs as if trying to free themselves of their shackles. Animals scurry at night, leery of headlights and the thunderous whir of spinning wheels on the tired pavement.
                Now imagine, for a moment at least, that this gray world, sprouted forth from its own refuse, an organic landscape vibrant with color, texture, and alive in flowing form.  In windows, storefronts, across buckling walls, bursting out of floors and ceilings – a coral like mass of alien like life forms transforming space into scenes of beauty and grace. This is my vision. This is COLONY.
                The first in a series of unique organic looking installs that transform under-utilized and abandoned space into flowing organic looking sculptural landscapes. Like an invasive species out competing its rivals, these colonies will spread. Anywhere there is ruin, a Colony may take seed. So, as you walk, numbed by worry or transfixed by the soft light of technical gadgetry, please remember to take notice of the life around you – for in some forgotten recess or a crack in a crumbling wall, you may just stumble upon a new world. A world filled with strange life forms -- a colony that no other eyes have seen before. Now go forth and explore.

The above is a picture of the finished install. 

My original idea for the Colony install was to create a flowing organic sculptural piece which covered all four walls of the room in which I was installing in. However, several problems proved too much to overcome. For one, the walls in this room were in bad shape with the plaster cracking in places and in one spot missing entirely. I was worried that the weight of the piece would not be supported by the plaster of the walls. I was also worried that since I was going to have to use hundreds of nails, that more plaster would crack and fall off the walls further endangering my install. Originally I had thought to glue most of the pieces onto the wall, but being that I wanted to get all of my pieces back, and that the glue would be close to impossible to pry off the wall, I decided against the wall install and went with the floor instead.
Before I decided however, to abandon the wall install, I began laying all of my pieces out on the floor. The following pictures show this series of events. 

The above three pictures constituted the totality of the amount of material I had at the beginning of the Colony install. The original layout was haphazardly created. I was trying to gauge how much space the material would take up and whether or not I was going to be able to cover all the walls in the time allotted to me.

The above picture represents how much material I had after a little more than a month of work.

After another month or so of work the above is how much material I had completed. Creating my work is a painstaking process which takes months of intricate work. 

With a few weeks to go before the deadline I decided to do away with the flowing design and instead switch to a circular design with an inner and outer circle which consisted of different materials. 

After nearly five months of work the Colony install was finally finished. The following pictures represent the piece from a multitude of vantage points. 

 The above two pictures capture the sweep of the circle's arc going separate directions.

The following pictures are of the inner circle. 

The Following two pictures are of the finished install.

Materials used: Cardboard tubes of various sizes, paint, dye, various salts, oatmeal, cotton swabs, various yarns and fabrics, plaster, styrofoam, cardboard, various sands, and plaster. This is not a comprehensive list of materials but does represent the most common types used. Spring to summer 2013.