Issue 25 Insects Spring 2007

Artist Project / Your Standard

Charles Goldman

­In 1989, I bought a standard white Toyota pickup truck. I had a group of friends that all had the same pickup, and it felt to us like some sort of northern California socialist standard-issue vehicle—a no-frills utility truck for protohippies, progressive suburban kids, and sculptors with left-wing leanings. When the earthquake hit Santa Cruz, our chimney crumbled and rolled off the sloped roof of our house, demolishing the truck’s cab—I dro­ve around without a windshield for a few days and then got it fixed. In 2001, the truck was totaled in a hit-and-run in front of my loft in Brooklyn. I sold it to the scrap yard for fifty dollars. A couple of years later, back on the West Coast, I bought the same standard white Toyota pickup truck.

Like chalk on a blackboard, the truck makes a white line that criss-crosses the country. The equation TIME + DISTANCE + MASS = EXPERIENCE is perfectly exemplified by my relationship to this truck—its various travels and constantly shifting load somehow define me and my parameters. It feels like I may always own a standard white Toyota pickup truck. It has become my standard, and now it can become Your Standard.


Straight edge
A coin (a US quarter is just right)
X-acto knife
Paper clips

Draw on the blank surface, customizing Your Standard.
With the X-acto knife and straight edge, cut through on the solid lines.
Use the coin as a guide to cut around the wheels.
Score the dotted lines with the paper clip and straight edge.
Fold, glue, and attach the tabs; hold with paper clips while glue is drying.

Once Your Standard is assembled, please photograph it and send the image to this e-mail address. Contributions will be posted here.

Originally from San Francisco, Charles Goldman is an artist currently based in Brooklyn, New York. He has traversed the country in his standard white Toyota pick-up truck numerous times. For more information, please visit

Cabinet is published by Immaterial Incorporated, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Cabinet receives generous support from the Lambent Foundation, the Orphiflamme Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Opaline Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Danielson Foundation, the Katchadourian Family Foundation, The Edward C. Wilson and Hesu Coue Wilson Family Fund, and many individuals. All our events are free, the entire content of our many sold-out issues are on our site for free, and we offer our magazine and books at prices that are considerably below cost. Please consider supporting our work by making a tax-deductible donation by visiting here. Thank you for your consideration.