Wild Thing, You Make My Heart Sing (Book of Love Songs)

“Wild Thing, You Make My Heart Sing (Book Of Love Songs)”

Técnica mixta - Mixed media

102 x 66 cm


Pieza seleccionada para la 6ª Bienal Internacional de Beijing, que tuvo como tema “Memoria y Sueño.” Septiembre-Octubre 2015.

Selected work for the 6th Beijing International Biennale, that had as a theme “Memory and Dream.” September- October 2015.



We live in exciting times.  The speed at which we move as individuals, as countries and as a human race is faster than it has ever been. We inherited our ancestors’ dreams of prosperity and peace, and try to realize them, and at times we do. When we don’t succeed, we launch revised and expanded dreams in a desire to improve the new situation we have created.  We each seek happiness in our own way because each person’s relationship to life is so unique. This makes for healthy diversity. This process of individual and collective expansion should lead us to question how we act, and to confirm that sustainable peace and progress can only be achieved with integrity. Integrity comes from the realization of our oneness; that is, the awareness that we are an integral part of ONE planet in which we live, where we are dependent on each other, our lands and our waters. Only when we have integrated this concept will we be able to treat everything and everyone with respect and care.

My work is about celebrating that which I like and appreciate:  nature, especially the wilderness, and at the same time, cities, progress and all the new inventions that improve our quality of life. Nature and human activities are often in conflict with each other, but they don’t need to be. “Wild Thing, You Make my Heart Sing” was born during one of my frequent walks in the countryside. In a patch of garbage, heedlessly left behind in a beautiful field, I saw some cardboard that might have been previously used as industrial packaging material. Its cell-like forms suggested to me something done by wasps or bees and so I decided to make a piece in honour of insects.

These “wild things”, these industrious creators, are inspiring. They have found a way of producing, without degrading the environment; working collectively and diligently, driven by a commitment to achieve their objective. It appears to me that their process is based on trust, even a sense of fun and freedom; unselfconsciously, ceaselessly in a seeming song and dance routine, their work makes me think of the spirit behind the best poetry, music and art. Insects are beings in the purest form: complete in themselves, without asking for anything or anyone to be different.

This inspired me to work with that same spirit, enjoying the ride while listening to music, which is very present in my life. I turned these “cells” – which would hold honey or larvae in the insects’ creation – into containers for rolled up pieces of paper. Each paper contains a phrase from a love song and its corresponding QR (quick response reader) that allows a person with a smart phone to access the Youtube link for that specific song. Following the lead of the insects, I made this a collective process. Mostly through the internet, I asked family and friends near and far to send me their favourite love songs; I was delighted by their enthusiastic response.

The result: this “book of love songs” holds phrases, and indirectly, through the QR codes, the music and the lyrics for songs in a variety of languages that reflect diverse cultures and the many ways of understanding love. In spite of their differences, these songs all share the mood that celebrates life and those moments when we are aligned with our highest feelings of creativity, curiosity, humour, enthusiasm, empathy, compassion, courage, a sense of beauty and a sense of wonder.

This is not a finished piece. Just like our lives, it is a work in progress. Every time someone takes out a piece of paper to read it, it can be returned into another cell. Since the papers and the cells have different colours, the visual reading will always keep changing. The piece also contains many blank rolled-up papers so that new songs can be added. I am in the process of preparing a logbook to acknowledge those who contributed to this project and to add drawings and more information about each song. I might also make CD’s of the collected songs and music.

This piece, like much of my recent work is about finding discarded materials that no one else is interested in – a piece of plastic, a metal rod – playing with it and eventually finding a new meaning for it in a new and different context. It’s about up-cycling a piece of “nothing” into something that can reflect the harmony that can come out of chaos. This specific piece is also a reflection of the amount and the speed at which we produce garbage, and the need to do something constructive with it. Recycling is about dealing properly with our past to move into a better future. I use this discarded material because I like to be surprised by what it can turn itself into. It’s about fun. It’s about looking closer at social issues, at other people and at our environment, and finding opportunities to think about things in different ways. It is particularly about finding beauty, even on those days when it seems hidden. This makes the artistic process about a “wild thing to make the make the heart sing”.

It is curious, and I notice it just now when looking at the photograph of the material as I found it, that in the indecipherable graffiti that covers the cardboard, the only word that can be clearly read is “Love”.

The title for this piece comes from the song “Wild Thing”.  It was written by Chip Taylor, a New York City songwriter and recorded originally in 1965 by the American band “The Wild Ones”. “Wild Thing is best known for its 1966 cover by the English band “The Troggs.”