Hitchiker of Bob Casky


Bob Casky is an artist's artist. His mysterious sculptures and installations using imagery of hats or sometimes, boomerangs are occasionally inspired by the writings of Jorge Luis Borges. One of Casky's metaphors for life is throwing boomerangs during nighttime. The thrill of sending an aboriginal airfoil into the inky unknown and the terror of hearing the circular swish of that slicing missle as it returns from the sky is primal.

Casky generally maintains a low profile, so I was especially happy in 1982 when he agreed to participate in the Hitchiker Project.
 
 

He came to my studio, and, as I was tracing his contour, I happened to complain that I could only get one Hitchiker out of a four by eight foot sheet of plywood. The remaining shape was quite large but because of the protruding arm and hand, the fragment was quite useless.
"You could piece it", Casky suggested.
Well, until then I hadn't wanted to, but, there was something about his pose and jacket that looked like it would be interesting to make a detachable arm. And besides, it was his suggestion. So, after checking that he wouldn't mind, I cut the arm out separately and bolted it on.  While I was at it I cut a few extra arms and covered one with spectrum-producing diffraction grating paper. I was struck by the boomerang-like shape of the isolated hitchiking arm. 

The arm and hand with its protruding thumb was an abreviated hitchiker. Postage stamps and an address could be applied to the back along with written instructions asking recipients of the arm to add their names and pass it on until the back was full of names or until a specified date and then mail it back to the starting point. It would be a kind of boomerang!
Later, it occured to me that if a number of these "boomerang" arms were released at the same time and the instructions directed that they be mailed back to the same address, they would constitute a kind of arms race.
 



 
 
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