Core Sample

In 2013, the Mississippi Museum of Art invited daniel to create a work for their series C3: Creativity. Conversation. Community. For five months, johnson transformed their studio space into an ongoing assembly line where participants made hand-made clay bells. Images submitted by over 1000 Mississippians were carved on to the bells. All 2222 bells were displayed as an 18ft wide 12ft tall windchime in the Museum’s Art Garden where visitors could be surrounded by the symbols of Mississippi resonating together.

The bell assembly line was designed so that it could be activated at any time by a museum visitor. Two artists, Kira Cummings and Abed Haddad, were hired to help johnson keep regular hours throughout the week where visitors were facilitated, but once trained many returned during off-hours to continue the work and train others. The set up of the space ensured that many hands made each bell. Because no one could follow a single bell through the process, participants identified with the collection rather than trying to find “their” bell - although everyone did try to find “their” symbol. More than 1500 Mississippians from across the state participated in the project.


Hattiesburg American — Jackson, Mississippi