It’s Been a While Since I Last Wrote
It's Been a While Since I Last Wrote is a luminescent kinetic sculpture.
One might argue that the primary goal of writing is to communicate with others. But writing, particularly writing by hand, can also serve as a meditative act – a practice that fosters slow, thoughtful contemplation. While it borders on nostalgia to think that these two functions were in perfect balance once-upon-a-time, it seems clear that the rise of digitally mediated communication has altered the nature of writing. In this fast-paced, keyboard-dominated, Internet communication culture, speed is of the essence.
A quick web search reveals that each day hundreds of hastily written blog entries begin with variations on the apologetic phrase “it’s been a while since I last wrote.” Invariably the authors then proceed to describe their busy lives and commit to publishing updates more frequently. Messages like these reveal not only a sense of obligation to communicate with a real (or imagined) online audience, but also point to the desire to slow down and take time to thoughtfully contemplate, record and make meaning from one’s daily experiences.
It’s Been A While Since I Last Wrote is a meditation on the often-competing desires for slow contemplative writing and fast-paced communicative writing. The installation, which is comprised of a 40″ x 40″ luminescent surface and an ultra-violet writing head controlled by two motors, continuously scrawls the phrase “It’s been a while since I last wrote” in a digitized version of the artist’s cursive. Disappearing almost as quickly as it is written, the phrase encapsulates the competing desires for speed and thoughtfulness.
Exhibited at the the Soap Factory in 2008.