By Mike Cooter
Recent research into vernacular design turned up this image of one particular archetype about to be put to use. As the fragment of text suggests, the man holding the milking stool and pail is Calvin Coolidge, U.S. President from 1923-29. I was reminded of Ad Reinhardt’s ruminations on the flexibility of image and metaphor when applied to political cartoons, and Coolidge’s presence seemed particularly appropriate given his reputation-defining relationship to labour unionisation, agriculture and his timely exit from political office. As an image it invites consideration of resources, infrastructure, relationships of power, labour and intent. The mark-ups come from a lecture on the same and, in recognition of this context, the specific modelling to be extrapolated from the ideogram should be adapted to fit. Like the working furniture of artisanal labourers, instructive metaphors may be constructed using the means at hand and informed by direct engagement with the context that presents itself. Mike Cooter is an artist who lives and works in London. He exhibited in A Darkness More Than Night, QUAD (2012) and Mike Cooter & The Hex, Moot gallery, Nottingham (2008).