In the darkness there is no distance, and perhaps that’s what some fear in it. In darkness things merge. -Rebecca Solnit
Objects are already ghosts of themselves, because of the rift between appearance and essence. On this view, death, birth and continuity are happening simultaneously… an object just is a ‘black hole’ with a fading photograph of itself on its surface. -Timothy Morton
Set against the backdrop of a vacant hardware store, Of Shadows Of investigates the ubiquitous shadow world of photographic representation, with all its tensions between absence and presence, familiarity and uncanny distortion. Relying on shadow silhouettes and optical/analog photo techniques, each piece strips subject and medium down to a fundamental graphic level. Silver gelatin prints, photograms, and 16mm film projection foreground the medium’s materiality as much as its capacity for pictorial information. Crystallized into the silver salts of a print, a shadow becomes an entirely new object – a new presence echoes an absent one.
The images feature the participation and creative movement of Alyssa Hill, Caitlin Cook-Isaacson, Garrett Ferderber, Jude Ortiz, Katie Capistrant, and DanceBums (Margaret Johnson, Eben Kowler, Karen McMenamy, Kara Motta, and Maggie Zepp)
Jonathan Kaiser was a fiscal year 2015 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
It came about that Echo's speech was cut,
Yet she retains the last sounds that she hears,
And says them back again to those around her.
Inverse Echo is a study in repetition and change. At the center of the exhibition, a quartet of custom-made records play the four voices of a string quartet, repeating the final chord of a musical piece in an endless loop. Turning at different speeds, the four turntables cycle in and out of sync with one another, creating a constantly shifting soundscape. Over time, the sound quality decays as the record’s grooves are worn away.
Some cycles of time are too vast to be directly observed by individuals -- shifting tectonic plates change the landscape, empires grow and collapse under their own weight. On a more human scale, accelerating cycles of planned obsolesence bring elaborate technologies and networks into global demand, only to fade into disuse in a matter of months.
The vinyl record is a dead medium that has somehow managed to survive its own obsolescence. Its spiralling grooves are a physical path that marks the passage of time -- layers like the rings of an oak tree, making the past and future visible. The grooves can also be manipulated or subverted. One can put the needle on a circular path and relive the same few seconds over and over again. Of course, they aren’t the same few seconds -- they are new each time because we grow and change and breathe even as the record itself changes, gradually eroded by the constant pressure of a diamond needle.
There may be some artifacts to outlast the eternal present-tense of late capitalist civilization. Many of them will likely be made of concrete.
Linear perspective is based on several decisive negations. First, the curvature of the earth is typically disregarded. The horizon is conceived as an abstract flat line upon which the points on any horizontal plane converge. Additionally, as Erwin Panofsky argued, the construction of linear perspective declares the view of a one-eyed and immobile spectator as a norm—and this view is itself assumed to be natural, scientific, and objective.
-Hito Steyerl, In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment on Virtual Perspective
Thinking of perspective drawing as a proto-virtual means of constructing space, I set out to interpret it in reverse, converting the 2D representation to actual 3D -- but intentionally taking the illusionistic proportions of the drawing literally.
The construction of these arches performs a kind of haptic bridge between the abstraction of architecture as symbolic form, and its tangible reality in our lived environments (both virtual and physical).
Even in its most basic form, the arch performs a balancing act that seems quite magical, using the force of gravity to create a stable opening where a right-angle would collapse under its own weight. Maybe it’s because of this air of gravity-defying magic that it has taken on a symbolic identity as a point of entry, a portal from outside to inside, and from known to unknown.
As a graphic, linear figure, a labyrinth is best defined first in terms of form. Its round or rectangular shape makes sense only when viewed from above, like the ground plan of a building. Seen as such, the lines appear as delineating walls and the space between them as a path, the legendary “thread of Ariadne.” The walls themselves are unimportant. Their sole function is to mark a path, to define choreographically, as it were, the fixed pattern of movement. The path begins at a small opening in the perimeter and leads to, and ends at, the center. Accordingly, the only dead end in a labyrinth is at its center. Once there, the walker must turn around and retrace the same path to return to the outside.
- Hermann Kern, Through the Labyrinth: Designs and Meanings Over 5,000 Years
Link to complete online images of Aposiopesis:
Print and fold your own Paper Monument (11x17 paper recommended)
Plan For A Paper Monument PDF