The last three weeks have been quiet for assignment work, but that's been welcomed as I've been busy working on the 14' travel trailer I purchased a few months ago. Though it is a very solid unit, it is a 60 year-old trailer and there is always plenty of work to do on a project like this.
My intent is to design a modular mobile production retreat. By that, I mean that the trailer is meant to be deployed to an isolated space for the purpose of producing work focused on a specific project. The personal projects I explore often focus on an environment and require a contemplative process to do so. Allowing that methodology I use in the field to play out in the production phase (which often demands a necessary amount of studio work) is important to retaining the authenticity of the work.
The trailer allows me to retool my relationship with my environment from one of balancing a number of relationships, responsibilities, and the daily grind to one of a singular focus on the work. This is important in order to explore the possibilities of the work more intensely. This facet of the process is embedded within field work, but so often gets lost upon return. The primacy of the field and lessons learned while in contact are central to much of my work.
There are a lot of loose ends on the trailer as it has been in use as a gutted utility trailer for some time. Nearly every single component of the trailer needs at least some kind of attention and over the past month I have: -cleaned and painted the frame with industrial rust-proofing paint -replaced the wiring -cleaned, sealed, and reinstalled sub floor -replaced electrical inlet -repaired clearance lights -new license plate frame and light -new glass for door and windows(2) -new exterior door handle -polished interior skin of door -installed reflective insulation -cut, painted, installed interior walls of Homasote -new aluminum trim at interior wall/door interface -new stainless steel bolts to replace missing rivets at skin/frame connection
I've been working in the space as I've been designing/building it out to get a sense of what will work. The largest constraints are space/weight. There is a wide array of suppliers I've gone to with parts needs as nothing original is available. The layering of time is the most visible marker binding the trailer to its surroundings and I have no intent of making this appear "as new". Thus, it is a slow process finding parts and materials that respect that layering but add to is functionality. All in all it's been quite fun with much work still to do. I would like to take it out for a field test in the following weeks.