Objects with Lenses

This series makes you focus on a revealed idea rather than literally focusing on the object itself. To accomplish this, I use artifacts which themselves were once meant for viewing things: a telescope, a microscope, a WW2-era bombsight, and optics from an old tank periscope. Each is positioned to focus on a short phrase. By looking inside, you become the user of the object and thus part of the piece. The message you see forces you to reflect on the true purpose of the objects, and not just how they look. Insteadof “things happened”, I want you to realize that somebody caused them to happen.

The pieces are:
  • A crystal ball mounted in a glass hand. Looking in, you see the enigmatic text “You will figure this out.”
  • A binocular microscope head- When you look into it, you see the message “This is how they’ll find out that you’re dying”.
  • A WW2-era bombsight- When you look down through it you see the message “This is how your grandparents’ house was last seen”.
  • Optics from a tank periscope. When you look up through it, you see the message “This was someone’s view of Tiananmen Square”. This references the famous “Tank Man” incident of 1989.
  • A telescope – When you look through it, you see it is focusing on a distant sign which says “Somewhere a telescope is aimed at earth”