While working on his crack documentation in the summer of 1975, Howard went into a fabric shop to purchase black opaque fabric for his darkroom. He noticed a spool of white thread and purchased it.
This spool of thread eventually became the catalyst for a project entitled Notes on a String. At first Howard would install pieces of the string at locations he found alluring; for example, at the observation deck of the Empire State Building. He liked the idea of leaving something behind to assert that he had been there. He would also try to make a statement with the manner in which he chose to place the string. As a form of documentation he would photograph the installation.
At times, correspondences were necessary to secure permission to gain access to a site for installation. For example, he was intrigued by the black slit at the top of the Citi-Bank Building. He wrote to Chairman Walter Wriston and the ensuing correspondences became documentation for the project despite the fact they refused permission for the installation.
It occurred to Howard that there were many places in the world he would like to install the string. Howard also realized that he might not be able to visit all of these places, so he began to rely on friends and acquaintances to install the string for him. The installers would photograph and document the installation and return the information to Howard. Over the years, pieces of the string have been placed in some intriguing places around the world. Several of the documents will be included in this section.
Howards' friend Spiros grew up in Corfu. He passed by these ladies while horseback riding through their village. He asked them to hold the string and they obliged.
In 1996 my friend Pierre Sprengers from Antwerp, Belgium spent three weeks living in a remote farming village in Irian Jaya, New Guinea. He installed a piece of string from a nail over the entrance to the village. He tied another piece to a bridge used by the villagers on a daily basis.
I included several pictures of the residents of the village. One gentleman is standing with his Great, Great, Ancestor passed down through generations who resides in his hut with him.
In the summer of 2000, Howard was offered his first opportunity to install the string in a gallery situation. The installation was entitled Notes on a String and was executed at the Florence Lynch Gallery in New York City. Howard is continuing to install pieces of the string and looks forward to inquiries by people interested in installing pieces for him in places throughout the world.