In j-school, back when I still cared about things, I took a class in newspaper design and had a rather eccentric instructor who constantly referred to herself in the third person, sometimes appending the word “creature” to her last name. She was unpredictable and by most accounts certifiable, but one day she showed us a tearsheet from a New Jersey paper’s entertainment section. Ragged feathers framed a picture of a band.

“This, this is what you all should be doing! You know what this is? One of my former students, he was seeing art in everything. You should see art in everything. These feathers here? Fella was walkin’ home and noticed a dead bird on the ground. Whatcha think he did with that sparrow? Did he step over it, ignore it? No, he picked it up, took it to work, threw it in the scanner, and there you go. He transformed something ugly and unwanted into something breathtaking.”

I don’t claim to have any artistic genius, but I do keep my eyes open. And today I found a lovely little laminated card — Virgen de Guadalupe on the front, prayer in Spanish on the back.

My reproduction is poor, but I always love to share found art/objects.

There’s a rather intellectual show on at the International Center of Photography, “Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art.” I went to its opening and wasn’t particularly impressed; though there are glimmers of excellence (Vivan Sundaram’s excerpts from The Sher-Gil Archive, Fazal Sheikh’s images from Afghan refugee camps), the theme felt strained. More up my alley are Found magazine, the Museum of Find Arts, and the aggregated images at Ffffound!.

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