Sacha Baumann is an artist and designer living and working in Los Angeles.

Scrap that plan

Scrap that plan

For two years I saved scraps leftover from running laser cutting jobs. I love these strangely shaped little bits—the negative spaces the client didn't need or want delighted me. When someone other than me was running the machine (a rarity) I asked they not throw away the pieces of wood and plastic left behind. I collected the bits in jars and buckets, displaying some, stowing others away. It was admittingly a hoarder-like obsession. 

I made a couple of art pieces from the scraps (and blogged about the first one). I imagined that some day I would make a really large assemblage piece. Visiting the Mike Kelley exhibtion over the summer at MOCA renewed by insterest in the scraps. His giant bricolage pieces were memorizing. (Here's a favorite image I took of one the works.)

On October 1st gave up my ad hoc postition as laser technician when I decided leave my official position as managing partner of Somewhere Something and Some FAB. Since that day I have been working hard at freelance gigs and my new role as Operations Manager of Keystone Art Space, at the same time moving my stuff out of the studio I shared with my former partners into my very own space. My new studio is awesome. Actually it's small and dark and in a hidden away corner near a big tube hanging from the ceiling. But really, it is becoming super awesome. I adore it and feel very lucky to have my own space.

I basically finished moving yesterday, Saturday, as I promised my partners, but a few things got left behind: my ridiculously large collection of ARTFORUM magazines, some essential business and personal paperwork, and...the laser scraps.

To my utter dismay, last night after I left the warehouse, the scraps got scrapped. I'm so sad about this. The buckets I had been reguallry filling were uncerimoniously tossed. I don't understand why I wasn't asked "Do you want these? Are they important?". They so obviously were important, to me. I wasn't asked because they didn't know, I guess. Or didn't care. Or just didn't think about it at all.

All those hours of laser cutting from all those hundreds of jobs I ran—I saved a piece from nearly every one. And now those bits are in the parking lot dumpster. 

It feels like a bad armchair therapist's metaphor for the end of my ill-advised laser cutting career (and more). Fine. Onward! I've always been much more of an analog type scrap hoarder anyway. Hence the pieces of trash I've been carrying around for art projects for the last 20 years. They are so great. And I am going to make wonderful things with them in my sweet new spot.

My new not place

My new not place

Vantage point

Vantage point