School Spirit by Pierre Huyghe and Douglas Coupland

School Spirit

Authors: Pierre Huyghe and Douglas Coupland

Release: January 15, 2003

Publisher: Dis Voir

Genre: Pop Culture, History, Photography, Art

ISBN-10: 2914563078
ISBN-13: 978-2914563079

Synopsis: “Dis Voir’s Encounters series invites a well-known contemporary artist to choose a subject for a book. The artist also selects a person with “elective affinities”–someone with whom he or she would like to share this exchange. The resulting collaborative volumes serve as an artistic and political laboratory of the present. For this first installment, French artist Pierre Huyghe choose Canadian writer Douglas Coupland, author of Generation X, for the influence that Coupland has had on his generation, and on Huyghe’s own work. Using a high school yearbook as scaffolding for their meditations, they discuss the construction of character, narrative techniques based on chance and the political dimensions of Coupland’s work–themes that are also fundamental questions for Huyghe’s projects.”

Declassified by Agent Palmer: School Spirit, Like the Yearbooks that Inspired it, is a Neat Narrative Time Capsule

Quotes and Lines

My name is Kelly Harding.
I was a junior at John Glenn Secondary, Rancho Las Palmas, California.
I died on my birthday, April 14, 1984, the day I turned sixteen. That day the weather was overcast with clouds the colour of ashes. At 2:36 PM Pacific Daylight Time the last thing I saw was that sky, drifting south from Los Angeles, polluted with unleaded exhaust fumes, radio waves and dead dreams.

Where do I begin
Bizarre love triangles
Highway cloverleafs
The cookie monster
Thanks for our deep
Spiritual talks.

As my body was carted away from the building on a gurney, somehow I-or my spirit or whatever it is I am-was consigned to remain here in the high school, and I didn’t at first know why. But the situation didn’t frighten me. I just knew that I wasn’t trapped in the school forever or for eternity-or whatever word you use once you no longer use the word, ‘future.’ I was trapped in the school until I learned things I might have learned differently had I lived longer.

When the flower dies, so does the love

High schools, I have learned, are like people – the things that make them different are trivial compared what they have in common. They’re like Chinese food. Or pizza.

You’d think I’d be lonely here, but no – boredom is something you get when you live in linear time. Eternity isn’t linear, so therefore there’s no boredom.

I used to be lost in the shuffle
Now I shuffle along with the lost

High school students aren’t real people. Not Yet.

People in high school don’t know who they are, let alone what they want to be.

The only really interesting people at school are the losers and misfits, because once you leave school, everyone’s a loser, so at least they’re better prepared.

In many senses schools are just exercises in crowd control. All schools do is keep you off the streets until you’re eighteen, and by the time you’ve graduated, you’ve spent your entire life in a nine-to-five shift-so that you’re fully prepared for a lifetime of unnatural, meaningless and boring work. It’s babysitting.