What you give…
Dissolution of boundaries>
An art and design project originating in ancient language where both letters and numbers are described with the same alphabetic characters. In biblical Hebrew tenses of verbs are determined by context so that the addition of one letter ו (vav) “and” at the beginning of a word can change its tense from past to future. For example, the word meaning “And he gave” can also mean “We will give”, according to context. The letters of this word, which exhibits symmetry as a palindrome, are extrapolated from their original context and redrawn to create a schematic human body while retaining literal meanings.
The five elements that make up the image of the body are number/letters with the values: 6+50+400+50+6 (=512), arranged in a column and rotated through 180 degrees and copied to create a form with a value of 1024. The body appears as a schematic form in five sections representing head/brain, face, arms/torso, genitalia and legs. Being symmetrical, it can be read from top to bottom or bottom to top and must therefore also represent two bodies. If the two bodies appear “face on” each half can be said to represent a body in profile where one arm and one leg are visible, so that there can be four bodies in one image – alluding to physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual bodies/levels within one.
The numerical value of the word is 512 or 83, inviting consideration as both a space and a volume and, through its reading in opposite directions (north to south, past to future or vice versa), as flows in time.
The single image may be repeated and reoriented to create patterns in two, three and four dimensions. A one-sided, two dimensional design can thus be reproduced in various materials and media, emphasising elements such as scale or texture.
It now acts as both art work, logo, trade mark and sigil to emblematise the relationship between matter and spirit. In kinetic works themes including migration, inclusion and dominance (represented by the relationship between word and image) may be hinted at without disturbing any sensory experience. In other words, this is not a didactic expression but an inquiry into and an attempt to resolve, in a way, the (Western) division between mind and body where they are combined not as an entity but as a process.
The combined value of the digits comprising the word is eight (5+1+2), which alludes to the festival days of the native European calendar. The value of the whole image is 1024, the combined value of these digits is seven (1+0+2+4); so that the form embodies those numbers fundamental to understanding in both Sufi and Kabbalistic mystical systems.
The design is non-hierarchical in that the whole word/image cannot exist without one of its parts which are given equal weight. Its palindromic symmetry allows it to be read simultaneously in two directions about any axis. The distinction between the hierarchical vertical male and equal horizontal female orientations becomes unfixed as both are employed.
As a “universal” representation of the body, the symbol may not seem to be specific enough to function as other magical sigils but, once recognised and charged appropriately, it can be used in a similar way for spiritual development, hence its protection in law. Such a device can be authorised or shared for mutual benefit but not stolen without consequences for the thief, so that registration as a trade mark may be understood as a kind of armour for the sigil/body in the material world of commerce; just as bodies themselves, within and between which all interactions occur, are not owned but occupied throughout their continual transformation.