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  • Writer's pictureslocumkent

Staples I Have Known

Updated: Jul 11, 2021

Photo of a toy suspension bridge built with continuous yarn holding up a Lincoln Log deck with paperclips
Cool fact: I built this using one continuous piece of white yarn!

At an early age, I became well-acquainted with paperclips, alligator clips, clothespins, staples, and other forms of holding sheets of paper together. However, where other people see utility, I see beauty. One of my earliest experiments with Office Supplies as an art form was with an entire box of plastic-coated paperclips that I used as part of a hanging bridge I built with yarn and Lincoln Logs (photos above and below). However, those paperclips were brand-new and shiny.

Now, I spend nearly eight hours every day surrounded by worn-out and dull office supplies. Instead of unpacking new paperclips, I pull rusty ones off of reports. Instead of hearing the satisfying sound of a new staple entering a stack of paper, I must wrestle old staples out of wrinkled wads of parchment. At the same time, these old office supplies have a rawness, a natural, un-artificial randomness that is quite striking at times . They have come full circle in their useful life, from being just one of many, to being truly important, to being ignored, to being frustratingly important, to being discarded. In the photos below, I have captured some of their last poses before they pass into obscurity once again.

After being pulled out, there are no two staples alike. There is something powerful in looking at these nameless staples and seeing them in their anguished, raw reality for what may be perhaps the last time these exact shapes are ever seen.

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