Chapter 1

Construction Drawings

22”x34”, Digital Print on Vellum, 2010

At that moment of recognition, the girl was not looking for a place to stay.  She was just moving through the city in her usual way; accepting information from only her peripheral vision, while steadily searching for the reasons she walks.  Passing under the highway, she stopped beneath a large billboard and looked up into the structure with sudden interest.  The sign was double-sided, with a three-foot space between the faces; providing, she instantly realized, a somewhat restrictive, but nonetheless habitable space hanging above the city.  Feeling invisible, she leaned into the shadow of the sign’s massive trunk and climbed up to see what was there. 

Tasting steel and diesel fuel, the girl did not immediately move from where she first stood.  It was very quiet inside the sign, and she became directly aware of her body as both sound and silhouette were distorted against the shivering metal panels.  The air was thin and cold and the edges of this black steel cage were lost in the night beyond.  Standing over the cars blindly flying by not ten feet beneath her, she looked down at the city dissolving far below, and wondered how much time she could spend here without being discovered.  She decided to build a place where she could sit and watch everything, where no one would ever think to look for her.  So high above the world and so inconceivable to the urban machine.

So, the girl began to live in a sign. 

The view was amazing; even after she had left to build elsewhere, she never forgot how much she loved to be alone and stretched out over a city.