The installation Semantic Projections explores various modes used to understand the world: through reading a text, experiencing an object, or interpreting a gesture. Encased within a vitrine in the center of this dim room are six crystal geometric forms, together representing the Greek classical elements: fire, earth, air, water, aether, and the void. Projected on one wall is a short text, inspired by a cognition test developed in the late 1970’s. It reads alternately like a poem, and a mathematical word problem. Projected on the other wall is a video of hands floating in darkness, which methodically outline the same six forms through careful gesture. The gesture is temporal like language and physical like form, but it is also uniquely—and explicitly—corporal, relating to the body in a visceral and intuitive way. The gesture serves as an intermediate form of communication that lives between ephemeral language and physical form.
The work explores perception and meaning, language and form—and their inherent ambiguity. By reambiguiating such elements, Semantic Projections presents a situation where the viewer is first confronted with his/her own body in space, through entering and reorienting in the darkness. After navigating this space, one is then confronted with a mix of confounding and seemingly incomplete information. While at first glance the text seems simple, its meaning is opaque and rather limited; it describes other knowledge not present. The crystal objects are definitive in space and form, yet they remain illusive. The hands are made alien through cloaking the entire body to which they connect.
Misunderstanding and confusion can result as much upon entering the space as when focusing on all the possible points of view. Such confusion is part of the experience of being present, and just as one seems to always cast a shadow onto the surfaces of the vitrine while reading the text, the presence of new surroundings cast a shadow on the individual. One is potentially left wanting; wanting for answers, or wanting for more information. If this feeling lingers, it can be termed, persistence of interest. This the urge of curiosity and frustration which leads you to seek new knowledge elsewhere, outside the installation. Reambiguity requires a realignment of understanding that is only possible in the first person.