The Scrolls

The scroll art is made of player piano rolls that were once used to make beautiful music. Initially, sounds were encoded onto their surfaces with intricate little holes in the shapes of dots and dashes. These now silent perforations were a perfect backdrop for me to explore a world of symbols, language and, ultimately, paradoxical ideas. I appropriated somewhat obscure quotes that I felt revealed human truths, an unveiling, if you will, of larger observations about the human condition. I then re-transcribed or encoded the text. First, I changed each word into Morse Code, which coincidentally also relies on dots and dashes. The actual dots and dashes were then re-transcribed, or re-coded using only the letters A, D, H, O, S, and T. These letters were used to spell the words, DOT and DASH. I then collaged the words, DOT and DASH, according to Morse Code, to re-encode the actual quote. Combined, the compositions contain letters that are a cipher glued to a scroll encoded for sound. I hope they reflect my keen interest in the great implausibility of life and how, as a people, we try to make sense of it. The quotes are as follows:

"To reach satisfaction in all
   desire its possession in nothing.
To come to the knowledge of all
   desire the knowledge of nothing.
To come to possess all
   desire the possession of nothing.
To arrive at being all
   desire to be nothing."

 

St. John of the Cross

"What a chimera then is man!
What a novelty, what a monster, what a chaos,
     what a contradiction, what a prodigy!
Judge of all things, feeble earthworm,
     repository of truth, sewer of uncertainty and error,
     the glory and scum of the universe."

Blaise Pascal,
French theologian, mathematician, and physicist