IN LATE 1966, I started working at 381 Lafayette Street, helping Bob Rauschenberg adjust his new house for living and working. It was a steady part-time job—11 to 5, three days a week—doing some low-level sorting, cleaning windows, and arranging various storage spaces. It evolved into making coffee, answering the phone, screening calls, and generally doing everything to make it so Bob could just work. I never saw him draw and rarely saw him paint. He did that mostly at night.

Things happened in the kitchen around a table in front of a large black cast-iron stove, a remnant from the building’s days as an orphanage. Most of the chairs had wheels. There was practicality, little luxury, and abundant food and drink. Bob would come up and nurse his way into the day on coffee and concoctions he devised.

At that time Bob was doing work that grew out of 9 Evenings and Experiments in Art and Technology

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