I lived in a mysteriously dust-free apartment a few years back. It was kind of a miracle--two years in the place, and barely any dust accumulated. I have since moved upstairs from that apartment, and sadly, the vacuum elves don't pay a visit. Bookcases and counters attract dust like Paris Hilton attracts Greek shipping magnates. Dust was on my mind this week after a thorough cleaning of my apartment (which is currently doubling as my ceramic studio, making it doubly dust-unfriendly). The internet provided some lovely synergy this week when I found the work of Maria a. Lopez, a Columbian artist who now calls Miami home. When she first arrived from Columbia, Maria cleaned houses (like many other Marias, she points out). In tribute to her former life (and the other Marias), she began coating doll houses with vacuum cleaner dust. The houses become eerie, otherworldly objects, with dust that began its life on the inside of a house migrating to outside, clinging like ivy. Her work made me think about the poor Nebraska settlers who built houses out of sod. They had to deal with DIRT floors. How do you even clean a dirt floor? You'd have to get down to the magma before you even get a shine.