Palimpsest aims to explore and illustrate humanity’s fascination with the meaning of life. It is about creating a space for dialogue about some of life’s most profound questions which often go unexplored in our modern lives.
Confined to a 2 meter cube aluminium structure, I engage in conversations with participants about existentialism and their responses are abstracted (taking the form of colored thread) by the machine into a dynamic installation.
Each conversation is split according to 7 facets of life- Infancy, exploration, self discovery, community, achievement, introspection and transcendence. Each of these phases of the conversation is abstracted into a thread of appropriate color and length, based on the responses. The 7 threads are installed onto the space as each phase completes. They are finally tied together to signify the end of the conversation.
There is also a constant interplay between me, the human artist, and the machine, allowing me to focus on the conversation while the machine abstracts and visualizes the participants responses.
Together, this creates a dynamic and evolving artwork that represents the complexity of human experiences and is an engaging sensory experience for viewers.
The act of adding new threads to the installation increasingly becomes a challenge, symbolic of the emotional and cognitive weight of engaging in countless deep conversations. I take great care, navigating through the space and avoiding the tangling of previous conversations with the current one.
With every new conversation the installation becomes more complex and by the end of the performance, the threads intertwine with multiple responses, dancing and pulling at each other based on their movements and positions.
This dance is what I think it means to be human.