The Boy Scout Project

Archive project


The Boy Scout Project, 2000-2003, consists of several arrangements built out of an array of hundreds of found images and objects, which all belong to the The Boy Scout Project Archive. By 2003 this archive contained 2053 items. The project was triggered by a boy scout’s jacket, which Hammer bought in Germany a few years earlier. The reason why he used the Jacket as a reference-object was its signal-red colour, which “separated it’s wearer from the background”. On the blue patch on the backside of the jacket one can read Staten Island Catholic Retreat 1968.

The Boy Scout Project Database is composed of two parts: The first named Research1 documents several evidence gathering excursions to the former site of the Boy Scout retreat of 1968 at Staten Island, New York. The second, Research2, complimentary to Research1, consists mostly of digital data and images and builds a sort of wild web of analogies around the event documented. All the images are juxtaposed through an associative process – for instance the image of an open-heart surgery gets juxtaposed with the image of a family picnic. Many of these juxtapositions establish new analogies, since gestures and shapes may resemble one another. The ensuing cross-link creates a new layer of meaning, which will be given an entry name of its own, thus archiving the process of analogy-building itself. These analogies also govern the introduction of new images bringing the flow into a halt, thus self-enclosing the system.