Aleksandra Mir

Living & Loving No: 1

SAN FRANCISCO—December 2001


... I have been working here for a few weeks now, researching this other project for the CCAC Institute and I have just met this young man, D.C.

D.C. is the Manager of Public Safety here on the CCAC campus where I am staying; we got talking about his life after my first night in town when I thought I was being harassed and my place broken into (by an unassuming security guard it turned out). Donald grew up in various foster homes, was a punk in his teens, went into the marines, saw 47 nations, had 50 girlfriends, was married, had a child, found the love of his life. She dumped him the day he got a divorce from his wife (Why? ‘Because she is a woman!’), he came back to go to college, dropped out, went into security and bouncing, works the nightclubs where he meets all the stars and manages security at the school where he is buddy with all the staff and the students. Donald is 28 years old

He showed me all his meticulously well kept photo albums and broke everything down for me in detail: the reasons why people take in foster kids and what is expected of you in return; the destroy-and-create economy of punk; the torturous aspects of love and friendship; the logic between swinging when you are married and cheating when you are not; the rituals of the marines and the intimacy between men; the fine line between violence and safety

D.C.'s life hinges on everyone else's but this story belongs to him only; this is the public dissemination of one ordinary man's extraordinary life. I am coming back here at the end of January and will take the opportunity to spend more time with him, record our conversations and scan his photos. I have promised Donald I will make a book about his life one day, so thus extend this opportunity to you



The project is the public dissemination of one ordinary man's extraordinary life. Printed in an edition of 5,000 it was distributed for FREE from Cubitt, London in 2002 and from the DCA, Dundee in 2003. Donald's life story was further disseminated through collaborating art spaces across the world, each of which received a surprise gift of 100 to give away

Living & Loving #1—The Biography of D.C.
Aleksandra Mir / Polly Staple
Cubitt, London and Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, 2002
ISBN: 0-9532765-1-1

Out of Print / Download it HERE