Blocked pipes, and conduit

A blocked sink leads to investigations outside the home and under the house. There are rusty rimmed pipes, and weedy growth caressing weathered concrete. The house’s green and yellow earth wire, almost grazes the drain’s edge in its snaky green slumber. The opening to the drain gurgles, choking on something all stodgy and stuck in its windpipe. The house speaks and we listen. With a plumbers plunger in hand we follow the pipes.

This house of ours is in its eighth decade and has been through many iterations in the hands of previous dwellers. It has been a batch; small home; home with extensions; home with a family, animals, deck and baseball hoop. What lurks beneath the knotty pine floorboards is typically a surprise and a delight.

The conduit, drawn up from beneath the deck houses electrical cable from a disconnected heat pump, abandoned by the previous owners. As I ease up the conduit it wriggles and rubs like a snake being pulled by the tail. Later when I start to work with it in the studio, the “dance of animacy” [1] continues, as my towel and glue wrapping action pulses through the protective tunnel and agitates the exposed wires protruding at each end.

  1. Garber “Objects and New Materialisms” 15.
    “The dance of animacy, according to Ingold (2013), involves the mindful or attentive bodily movements of the practitioner, on the one hand, and the flows and resistances of the material, on the other, [that] respond to one another in counterpoint.”

Garber, Elizabeth. “Objects and New Materialisms: A Journey Across Making and Living With Objects.” Studies in Art Education 60, no. 1 (January 2019): 7–21. doi:10.1080/00393541.2018.1557454.