Greg Milne – Chicago Contemporary Artist
Friedman Fine Art is pleased to have Greg Milne as one of its many professional contemporary local artists included on our website.
I bought my wife with my poetry. She was the editor of the our college poetry magazine, and my submissions evidently took her by surprise, she assuming that she knew all the poets in our very small liberal arts school. But I was no longer a poet, having morphed into an undergraduate biology major. The poetry that served as the dowry I wrote between the ages of thirteen and fifteen. She published the three I submitted. But I understood, then, the power of creativity – what it could purchase and, eventually, I would learn, what it couldn’t. In any case, I committed my life ever since to the birthing of objects.
I began the information series approximately 10 years ago. More accurately, five years before that, at a dinner where I wondered out loud if this relatively new Internet might serve as just that…a net. Could it be used to gather vast amounts of information? If so, what would the results look like. Could I make a piece containing the name of every body of water on earth? The name of every movie ever released? Eventually, using spiders and other data mining software, the scientist in me succeeded in procuring the raw material. The artist in me then took over, trying to give form, poetry, and meaning to this, the detritus of our existence.
The work, Everywhere Else, was a piece conceived as part of a series dedicated to the gathering and displaying of information. If the endeavor, in this case gathering the name of literally every single place that humans inhabit on the planet, was quixotic, printing it out as a single file was literally impossible. Approximately eight years after the inception of this series, printing technology caught up, and the piece graduated from its virtual existence. Everywhere Else is composed of the approximately 6 1/2 million names of every city, town, village, and hamlet on earth. At five feet by fifteen feet the piece cannot be read without the use of a powerful magnifier. It is, perhaps, the most information ever printed on a single piece of paper.
The heart of the work lies in the manner in which it imitates its subject. The world is large, as is the piece. The elements that make up the work, the names, are tiny, just as the vast majority of human settlements are minuscule, composed of nothing more than a few abodes. A smattering of inhabitants. Every single place humans call home is contained within this work… except for one. The place the piece resides. I believe the work highlights one of the more beautiful traits of humankind, a trait that led us to inhabit every corner of this sphere. A penchant, a love, for everywhere else.