In the fall of 1953, Robert Rauschenberg asked his friend (and composer) John Cage to bring his Model A Ford to Fulton Street in Lower Manhattan, where Rauschenberg lived and worked. The artist then poured paint in front of the car’s rear tire, and asked Cage to drive slowly over twenty sheets of paper that he had glued together. The resulting print (seen in a display case, below left), is a visual record of a 22 foot-long tread mark. One could call this a mix of performance art and printmaking, and for the sake of this blog post, I’m going to reference it as an event-based art work, since it recorded an event that took place.
My thoughts of Rauschenberg’s long print were sparked by a visit to CVS yesterday. They have a habit of generating long paper receipts for any and all purchases, which include numerous coupons. My paper receipt, which was generated to record my purchase of only 5 items, was so long, I decided to lay it out and give a Rauschenberg-style perspective to show its length. Granted, my “event” of buying 5 things at a drug store isn’t as interesting as driving a Model A Ford through paint on top of paper, but it’s a long paper documentation of my event as well (feel free to judge the level of ridiculousness or my mocking of CVS here yourself).
This isn’t the first time I’ve blog posted about Rauschenberg’s tire print … check out this post as well, which includes an interesting video.