Wednesday, October 14, 2009

5 x 5 - 1

My first linguistic mobile, which I made last week, left me a little dissatisfied. The main problem, I realized, is that it's too much of an object, too static; it doesn't capture the way words travel from person to person, flowing like water, and sometimes getting lodged in the most unlikely of places. So, with this new mobile (38" W x 41" H), I built in density variations to move the eye along. It's constructed as five separate mobiles of five pieces each, except for the one on top, which only has four. This grouping of pieces into compartments hopefully generates an internal rhythm, an interplay between different parts of the mobile. In addition, I varied the sizes and thicknesses of the pieces not only to produce a hierarchy, but also to enhance the illusion of depth.

My inspiration is the work of Xu Bing, who has a wonderful way of visualizing the text-reader relationship. I was greatly impressed with his 2002 installation of The Living Word at Cornell's Johnson Museum -- this piece is constructed from words, but it also illustrates the words in a way that feels completely right. For my part, I am not striving to make mobiles about language, but rather something less well-defined and perhaps even futile: mobiles that are language.

1 comment:

Gallow said...

Wow! These are much more interesting than your previous work. To me the clusters also seem more like multi lettered words or paragraphs which seems to be more of a language. I like it.