Jack’s scroll

The story goes like this: Jack Kerouac taped together 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper to form a continuous stream to feed through his typewriter. Then he typed “On The Road”, In one long seamless burst of creativity.

They call it the “On the Road Scroll“.

Jack and his scroll

It probably wasn’t as simple and elegant as it sounds. But, it’s a striking image. You start with one word. Then start piling the words on one after another. Unfolding the work, piece by piece. Word by word. It’s like knitting a sweater out of words. A big sweaty man-trying-to-find-himself sweater out of words. With patches on the sleeves.

And, any kind of complex work (like Architecture, let’s say) is going to be like that. You start. You work on one piece at a time. you do step one, then step two, then you branch off to steps 3 and 4 at the same time, and move onto step 5 off of step 3, and step 6 off of step 4 and then step 8, and you keep on going. You just keep rolling towards the West until you run out of paper. Then you’re done.

Any work of Architecture is made of a continuously woven thread of incremental moves towards a goal. Like a scroll…or a sweater. A big-boxy-trying-to-find-yourself-in-a-garden-style-apartment sweater.

With self-adhering flashing patches on the sleeves.


Check out the preservation of Jack’s scroll HERE

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