My grandfather absolutely refused to build a garage for his split-level ranch. He knew it would be overrun by his tribe of boys, most likely before it was even finished. In a 4-foot high crawlspace, he set up a stool and a truncated workbench to build engines for the family racecar. Once assembly was complete, the neighborhood fathers would come to the house to watch my grandfather start the engines on the dining room table.
By citing stories of eccentric work habits, parallels are drawn between 20th Century labor practices and the nature of art-making as it continues today. Offering insight to a family of makers and embracing suburban culture, I look to industry and the history of suburban development to understand the intrinsic motivations of Americans as we navigate an increasingly fragile economy that offers little comfort.