“…SCHMO is a claim to space, but it is also a claim to knowledge: a strategically located physical operation that both adds new layers of meaning and reveals new ways of understanding an extant place/thing.”
SCHMO: stratum, surface
James Garrett Junior reads buildings the way you and I might read this text. They are, as they say, an open book to him. And the sign of his having read Alma Lights is his signature. His tag, SCHMO is a claim to space, but it is also a claim to knowledge: a strategically located physical operation that both adds new layers of meaning and reveals new ways of understanding an extant place/thing. I know you. Even, I have known you. Like many relationships, it’s complicated. It’s about both of them, and there is no objective truth. SCHMO: stratum, surface reveals the strata below the surface. These are physical: drywall, vapor barrier, insulation, cement board, brick. And each is its own kind of signature. Structural brick walls belong to buildings of a certain age. The insulation that is not full height speaks, perhaps, of a handyman alteration of a less than certain sophistication. SCHMO, incised in the surface, revealing the strata of time, knows both. The doubling, the vinyl SCHMO mirroring the now relief surface is a self-addition to the history of the building, demanding it’s own reading. Garrett obliges with “reading glasses,” an ideal portal from which to view and adjudicate his story. Step right up.