Ingrid Burrington.

“My desk was given to me by my litho teacher Brian Garner and second to my guillotine and flat files it’s my heaviest and most beloved possession. It’s a school desk from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, I think. I want to say it’s not usually this cluttered, but…it’s usually this cluttered.”

Ingrid Burrington is an artist living in the mid-Atlantic region of America, working with people and words.

FROM YOUR DESKS: With your Center for Missed Connections and mapping; did you see a lot of patterns emerge in New York?

INGRID BURRINGTON: Missed Connections are a really interesting way to understand a city’s structure. The high frequency locations were primarily in places where multiple subway lines converge, or areas with popular bars, restaurants, and gyms. NYSC and Equinox seem to be the most popular gyms for Missed Connections.

There’s that famous line in As I Lay Dying where a character describes words as shapes to fill a lack.

FYD: For that project; did you spend a fair amount of time at your desk or computer?

IB: When I was doing the Pratt map, I was working a job where I spent all day doing data entry and e-mails. I would go home to my desk and do the exact same thing for Missed Connections. Doing it at my desk kind of made it less soul-sucking…but I don’t think I’ve ever so sincerely wanted an intern before.

FYD: Were there more Miss Lonelyhearts or woeful men?

IB: There are way more men posting Missed Connections, pretty much across the board–I’ve done some research into other cities and generally it’s mostly men seeking women posting the most, followed by men seeking men and women seeking men. There are really few women seeking women Missed Connections posted (at least, posted and geographically locatable); I still don’t really understand why that is.

FYD: I love words.  I’m useless without them. How do words inspire you?

IB: Whenever I’m working on a project–written, graphic, collaborative, or performative–I tend to start by looking up etymologies. I love knowing the roots and histories of words because it makes language richer for me, it makes me think carefully about what words I choose. There’s that famous line in As I Lay Dying where a character describes words as shapes to fill a lack. I think of many of the things I make and do as having a similar objective.

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