The majority of modern man-made artifacts have no intrinsic value. Mostly mass-produced, ultimately discarded by their owners, they quickly disappeared from sight and memory. And yet these objects were often imbued with significant meaning: first by those who designed and manufactured them; then by those who used them. It’s the romance of these objects’ stories that entrance me so; their making and their use, and what such usage tells us about their history.
“In the space between archaeology and history stand men like Scott Jordan, a New Yorker who has been digging around the city’s soil for the better part of four decades. What began as a childhood hobby searching for treasure evolved into a way of life that has resulted in Jordan haunting building sites throughout the five boroughs, attempting to recover history before it is forever paved over. Using shovels, mesh sieves, canvas rucksacks, ingenuity and an incredible amount of determination, Jordan has amassed a staggering collection of antique bottles, china, toys, shoes and other items that creates a patchwork historical narrative of New York City and its earliest settlers.”—From the publisher.
Jordan is a collector, detective, preservationist, historian, author and artist. He’s spent decades of his life devoted to the object and its meaning, digging around New York City to uncover and preserve a past buried underground. Once unearthed, Jordan is a cultural interpreter who provides a voice for the voiceless, who forges intellectual and emotional connections between the object and the viewer.
It comes as no surprise that Jordan is also an artist who creates collages from his found objects, a method by which the collector pays homage to his collection. Moreover, collage enables the artist to gather together objects and present metaphors, create symbolic associations, expose emotions, and convey messages for which there are no words. According to Jordan:
My goal in making these artifact art collages is to allow the holder or observer to not only make a connection with the independent beauty of the historic objects but also to make a tangible connection to the history of New York.
Scott Jordan’s website
Scott Jordan’s Collage Art
Mark Batty Publisher of Past Objects