Today I Saw
May 13th - July 8th, 2017
Inspired by Gertrude Stein’s poem “What Do I See,” this installation combines sound, text, video, and social practice to re-imagine the town of Milton, Pennsylvania, through the lenses of its residents and in relation to a “foreign currency” of sounds and sights. Today I Saw creates an archive of sights seen in Milton and puts the town in a global context, bringing descriptions of local sights into contact with two other sources: a video of a man pruning land in Italy, and a sound recording of bombs dropping in Syria. The exhibition collects everyday sights and utilizes juxtaposition to open up questions about the visible, the invisible, and the interconnected nature of the world. Although situated in the Milton Art Bank, the installation spans the length of the town; sound recordings of people describing sights are dispersed across Milton and maps that locate the sound pods are available at the bank. People can also come to the bank to “deposit” their own site-specific sights, contributing to the archive.
Maya Pindyck examines intimate intersections of memory, place, language, and the (in)visibility of bodies in cultural spaces. She is the author of Emoticoncert (Four Way Books, 2016), Friend Among Stones (New Rivers Press, 2009), and Locket, Master (Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship, 2006). She exhibits her visual, sound, and text-based work widely. Her scholarship on creative practices, social justice and schooling has been published in a range of academic journals. In 2005, she co-founded an abortion story archive, Project Voice. Pindyck earned her PhD in English education from Columbia University's Teachers College, her MFA in poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, and her BA in studio art and philosophy from Connecticut College. She lives in Brooklyn and is an Assistant Professor of Liberal Arts/Writing and Director of Writing at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia.
Today I Saw
Today I saw a lady pushing a baby in a stroller,
teaching it the names of things.
Trees. Cars. Doors. Feet. Signs.
I’ve lived here all my life.
I’ve never seen this place—I’ve lived
here all my life. I don’t go looking
for the ducks, but I know they’re there.
The trees, the waterfall, the old
public library, the river, the bridge, the train station,
a man walking out Cole’s Hardware Store
with a gun on his side—when you press
on its back, it moves—you could move
its mouth. (Suddenly, the ducks
are becoming very tame). I saw
people that have given up a long time ago
& one of my mom’s pictures
of the Eiffel Tower.
The trees run the length of the road & cover everything
deep purple. I saw a bunny
running away from ma—I seen that bunny
again & again. We took breaks to get water & breathe
& she came.
Sometimes we do what we are told.
Today I saw a cloud shaped like an eye:
people gathered around the fire pits in their backyards
for the first time of the season
& fireflies flying around
reddish-pink & orange
fading into yellow, going into green
with a slight bit of blue—I saw
a flood. It’s better than having nothing.
The bank has withered & gone away,
but the river’s still there.
There’s a machine inside it.
- Maya Pindyck, 2017