How did you come up with the idea for this visual language, Instant Paradise? Can you explain the intent behind the language? 

Before coming up with this system, my practice was based off of collecting images on the internet, so I would deep-dive and try to find the most grotesque, strange things. I am talking about 12 years ago, and these things that I am talking about would be in the deep web right now, but there was no deep web back then, everything was everywhere. It was also very inspiring but also was very frightening at the same time, because you would have access to all of these things. I would take these images and collage them and try and take them out of their context, and repurpose them into new images. But after a while, sitting in front of a computer for so many hours, I started to get image fatigue, which wasn’t a thing 10 years ago, there was nothing called image-overload or something. Back then, I started feeling this anxiety of processing all of this information, and decided that I don’t want to spend my life with that anxiety, looking at so much information and trying to process all of that information. That I am going to try and liberate myself from this. And at the same time I was also thinking that I can’t really get away from it, because I have to put my images back to this cascade of information. I have to be a part of the attention economy basically. But then how do I get away from the computer but also make something meaningful that will then be recycled back into the attention economy, but maybe encourage people to slow down a little bit, because it’s so different from everything that they see. And so the idea that I came up with was to make something that is completely abstract that doesn’t refer to things that are absolutely of this world. Like a fictional world of its own. And to be able to do that I realized I had to create shapes that didn’t exist before. 

Then I started looking into techniques of how human beings made shapes. I looked into Ancient Samarian writing, who were the first primitive attempts at writing, let’s say. And then I found this system of shape-creating, which is putting a circle inside of a square and making indents in it, and so after I discovered that I was like ‘okay, I can put away trying to find images now, or be bothered, or have anxiety about images. I can just sort of sit down and make up shapes.’ And so I started making them. I hadn’t thought about it as an alphabet. I was just filling up notebooks of shapes. And after I started making them I was like ‘okay I kind of want to make paintings with them,’ and I started playing around. After that I decided that I had an affinity for some of them, and so I mapped out which ones I liked the most, I just wanted to see it. And then came the 31 shapes. Once I did that there was a huge feeling of relief, and, at the time, it felt like an instant paradise. I felt liberated from the machine, the computer, or whatever. I can use it for my own purposes but I am not absolutely beholden to it. I can do things that are outside of it now. But then I realized that our world is so constructed around numbers and collecting information, and analyzing and understanding the world of numbers, so I started collecting numbers, and the assigned numbers to the shapes, and then, because of my interest in languages, I knew that Hebrew and Arabic and some other languages have letters assigned to numbers too, so I figured the shapes could also be an alphabet. And I started encrypting information to paintings, and trying to keep a record of fleeting information. 

The Hidden Wiki 2021


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *