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Shooting Statistics in a Barrel

April 5, 2016

Rachel Faith, Shooting Statistics in a Barrel, Performance

 

I usually write about kids, but this piece concerns statistics and guns. Specifically, this old statistics book punched full of holes that I carry with me.

 

I’ve been captivated by the bad guy in the '80's movie "The NeverEnding Story" since I was a little kid. THE NOTHING is this voracious unstoppable force of entropy that consumes everything in the universe. THE NOTHING has no motive that a sane soul can understand. It simply is. It simply obliterates.

 

In my life, THE NOTHING is for real. It has obliterated homelands, dreams, relationships, and many beautiful cakes that I dearly loved.

 

THE NOTHING is the antithesis of creation: the third law of thermodynamics and a serious business indeed.

 

My research indicates that THE NOTHING is nothing short of the academic discipline of statistics. Beware statistics.

 

Nearly two years ago I made the decision to go into medicine, which means that as a recovering journalist, I had to go back to school. My desire to become a medicine woman struck the educational establishment as a great opportunity to place a mandatory statistics course in my path.

 

I have been running from such a thing for thirty-five years, but one can't run from THE NOTHING forever. It eventually catches up and bites one in the arse.

 

So I slogged through it. A semester of statistics.

 

No big deal for lots of people. Huge big deal for me.

 

I cried. I swore. I flailed about.

 

I felt my brain turn to waterlogged, colorless cardboard. I began seeing normal distributions in the Cerrillos Hills. The Sangre de Cristos grew bimodal against the uniform distribution of the prairie. My colleagues skewed left, my children skewed right. Cars on Cerrillos Road formed scatterplots. Data sets leached into my dreams.

 

And then...just like that...it was over. So I called on a gun-owning friend and asked a favor.

 

With some borrowed hardware from my friend, I took my statistics book out to the shooting range and I shot the shit out of it. About fifty-two times. I turned it into confetti. Then I kicked it. And then I ran it over in a truck just to be sure.

 

I became THE NOTHING, and it felt good. All this from a person who hates guns.

 

This wild tangent was triggered when I walked into a room at the David Richard Gallery and saw a piece by Chris Collins based on an object he found around Santa Fe: a metal barrel that someone, at some point, went all NOTHING on and shot the shit out of.

 

Chris turned the barrel into a lantern, and the bullet holes have become conduits of light. It’s brilliant.

 

Why did someone go out and shoot the shit out of the barrel in the first place? I can only assume that it was full of statistics and needed to be neutralized. Luckily, you can turn statistics into art while simultaneously disarming it.

 

To paraphrase Leonard Cohen: there’s a shit-ton of holes in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

 

2016 February 20

Santa Fe

 

This piece was presented by Rachel Faith as a performance and part of the Strangers Collective Salon hosted by David Richard Gallery, a special event and part of Happy Birthday Meow Wolf! A Benefit Exhibition and Event for Meow Wolf’s 8th Anniversary at David Richard Gallery on 20 February 2016

 

Rachel Faith, Shooting Statistics in a Barrel, Performance

 

 

 

 

Rachel Faith, Shooting Statistics in a Barrel, Performance

 

 

 

 

Rachel Faith, Shooting Statistics in a Barrel, Performance

 

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