Thursday, 21 May 2009

TextFields @ The Corridor 07-21.05.09

‘Must not the structure have a genesis, and must not the origin, the point of genesis, be already structured, in order to be the genesis of something?’ - Jacques Derrida

The Corridor is a narrow, tight space one feels comfortable in alone, but claustrophobic and guilty in when accompanied. It is like being a child playing under his bed, pretending that, with the sheets hanging down, he is camping, or a soldier in a trench, before a grown-up comes and ruins the fun by lifting up the sheet. When he is alone, he can dream, in images and sensations unencumbered by over-bearing words. The space takes on a sense of prohibition; the human within it feels let in on a secret, and seeks to spend as much time within as he dares.

As soon as another being appears in the space, the dream is dead. The consciousness, which has by means of entering such a space, found a narrow structure in which to point and bleed, is blocked off by the presence of another. It is not the done thing to stand still in a corridor, nor is it usual behaviour to play under the bed. What happens when one is caught rooting around in their mother’s wardrobe? What happens when the spermatozoa meets the egg?

Certainly, consideration of the ideas of deconstruction does not seem possible in this space. The voyeur is constantly concerned of an imminent interruption in his intellectual flow, and of missing a crucial step in the differentiation. It is a personal space each person should be allowed to spend time in alone, particularly when installed there is a site-specific piece, such as TF002, that distorts the space, and makes the voyeur ever more aware of where he walks, and with its accompanying soundtrack, how he talks, even thinks. One stops thinking to breathe in as another person crosses his intellectual path.

In Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, where does the nude start and the staircase end? TF002, despite comprising 358 parts, moves as one. Languages are exceptionally complex, yet move like clouds, constantly shifting and reforming.

The voyeur walks tenuously through the space, guided by the geometric shapes of deconstructed language. What lies beneath the words he writes? What are they built upon? His language is received; it is incapable of pinpointing his chemical, fluid ideas. Those ideas are, within a split second of coming to his mind, processed according to the status of his personal vernacular, his individual lexicon, which isn’t unique in any case; it finds its entire genetics, as is the case with all native speakers, in any old English Dictionary.

On which point, TF002 is decoded in English. If words can be reduced to characters and differentiated further into ‘strings’ or ‘particles’, then would the piece look different in Arabic? Russian? Greek?

The soundtrack, recorded in the key of the heartbeat, with its vibrations, crashes and white noise, shifts the entire universe known to the walls of The Corridor, back to its own genesis. Whatever is deconstructed had first to have been constructed, and whatever is constructed has to be the sum of one or more parts. Disparate strands of information converge and enter through the front door; the final ‘characters’ of TF002 point the way upstairs, where the holders of such information then collect within the walls of the salon and integrate, before differentiating again.

We can only understand the origins of what exists through our present knowledge, whereas the language of those origins existed only in light and sound. A simple, perfect, intangible idea is given bones, flesh and skin by communicable language.

TextFields 'is an investigation into the metaphysical worlds between text and space', originated by Amita Kulkarni, Vikrant Tike, Rajat Sodhi and Jerome Rigaud.

For more information visit the TextFields site.


The Corridor

Adam Nathaniel Furman's corresponding essay at LifeBin

Pictures by Paul Mendez

Part II:

‘It is a beautiful thing, the destruction of words’, George Orwell wrote in Nineteen-Eighty-Four. ‘TF002’, the result of a research project by the newly-formed multidisciplinary research and design group TextFields, is a double-explosion of the two words, in upper- and lower-case, that signify the space in which the sculpture is circumscribed – The Corridor. An uncomfortable, uncommonly narrow field for the consciousness to infiltrate, it is by design a means for conveyance rather than settlement; the tight space, and the prominence of the piece within it, combine with Vikrant Tike’s dissonant ‘white noise/white heat’ soundtrack, ‘recorded in the key of the heartbeat’, to almost trick the voyeur into experiencing the space internally, making sure not to have out an eye on a laser-cut element on passing through.
To slightly adjust a phrase of Roland Barthes’, the sculpture is both in appearance and concept a floating chain of signifiers – or at least their component parts – its existence owed to an investigation into the boundaries of text and fonts within a specific field, by three architects and a typographer. Recalling Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending A Staircase, TF002, despite comprising 358 parts, moves as one, like a language, with exquisite economy, constantly shifting and reforming.
TF003, the ‘dislocation’ of TF002, was announced as an installation in itself, each part to be sold and archived, the sculpture thereby freeing itself of its circumscription to acquire more breathing space. It remains to be seen the beauty of the geometric pattern inscribed on a map, as the piece explodes further into new homes all over London, and beyond.

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