Illustration by Mike Lee

Grant Proposal Recommendation 00429TE::33001::TKPath


Tord Kedrick Path was born in the United Kingdom’s Butlins Skegness in 1972. As a schoolboy, his budding interest in text editing was strongly encouraged by his grandfather, Vaughan Patrick Path, the distinguished Modernist responsible for creating several highly regarded proofreading marks (delete, insert and transpose). Following the deaths of Tord’s parents in the Falkland Islands War of 1982, the elder Path brought his precocious grandson to Minnesota to study with former students Ariel Perthard and Tayle Gamero at the Diggins School of Fine Text. Tord Path’s work at Diggins surpassed even his grandfather’s expectations, and he received his MFT with honors, in 1987, at the age of 15. Upon graduating, Path was hired on as Visiting Professor of International Text-Editing at the University of Industrial Text in Helsinki, where he remains a consultant. During the ’90s, Path participated in hundreds of exhibitions around the world; his work appears in such prominent collections as the Wall of Current Text in Tokyo, the Wall of Modern Text in New York, the Spagadorn Collection in France, the Albert and Monica Haines Museum in Malibu, and, most recently, the Walker Text Gallery in Minneapolis. Path has guest-lectured at the School of Current Text-Editing in Newport, Rhode Island (1997), and the West Surrey College of Text and Editing (1999).

Over the last six years especially, Path has garnered a semi-international reputation for his innovative keyboard cadences, his oblique approach to both cutting and pasting, and his grandfather’s substantial financial contributions to text-editing culture both within the United States and abroad. Path is currently represented by Lyle Talbot Surfaces in New York City, Seth Duncan Ltd. in Beverly Hills and Rolling Pawn Surfaces in London.


Path proposes changing his name to DeWayne and finding work as an office temp in an entertainment-law firm in South California’s Century City business district. “DeWayne” will select, from the thousands of photocopies he’ll make, one random page each day and, using a consumer-level Optical Character Recognition (OCR) program, scan this page back into his computer as a text file. According to Path, such files often contain image-to-text conversion errors (“artifacts”), which the OCR program denotes (by default) with bullets (•). Path has written a small utility program that will open these files, replace the bullet characters with words snatched randomly from Internet search engines (in real time) and then save the modified files in the same directory.

Path wants to print out these raw-text documents, photograph them and then enlarge them onto 8½-by-11-foot Berber canvases that have been coated with photo emulsion. Using a small flashlight, Path will expose the canvases gradually, in a painterly fashion. He estimates that he’ll create 18 to 24 such finished works; the desired installation would include six to 10 of them, arranged on the floor of the museum. Such placement, Path says, is necessary to “reveal certain significant correlations between the repetitive tasks of typing and entertainment.” The museum walls would remain bare and white.


Given Path’s loyal international following and his ability to attract young local entrepreneurs as well as established investors overseas, I estimate our award of $100,000 should yield concomitant donations of at least $3 million over the next three to six years, and therefore strongly recommend Path’s installation be included prominently in our spring 2001 exhibition.

Founded in 1993 in a private residential Boston basement, the ambitious Museum of Bad Art moved to the World Wide Web in 1995 with its first exhibit at the Lawlor Gallery featuring one piece from a Salvation Army thrift store and three “acquired from trash in Boston.” MOBA, “a community-based, private institution dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms and in all its glory,” has since opened the Frances Jackson Gallery, the Daly Gallery, the Deardorff Gallery and the Backroom Gallery, all of which contain works of “art too bad to be ignored™” gathered from thrift stores, flea markets and trash bins from San Diego to Boston. Each piece is accompanied by a synopsis, and all may be saved as JPEGs at no charge. (Note that the Backroom Gallery is for adults only, as it contains a particularly evil clown painting, Jerez the Clown, by Higgins.) MOBA has published The Museum of Bad Art Book and The Virtual Museum of Bad Art CD-ROM (for Macintosh and Windows), and has sponsored such physical exhibits as “Gallery in the Woods,” in which the entire MOBA collection was hung from pine trees on Cape Cod, and “Awash With Bad Art,” the “world’s first drive-thru art gallery & car wash.”

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