Alexa Szilagyi

Shipwreck, Error, Rope, and Language
Using the themes of shipwreck, error, rope, and language, I am pulling elements that 
can be expressed graphically. Combining metaphor with these graphic elements, I plan 
to construct compositions that relay the information I have found.

Overview of Summer/Autumn 2012
I began my endeavor by visiting tall ships over the summer. My goal was to come away 
with a general understanding of a ship’s architecture as well as the instruments and tools
used to make the ship fully functional. Later on, I made the trek up to Lake Champlain 
to go on a shipwreck tour. On that tour, our guides put an ROV in the water and we were 
able to look at the wreck of the Champlain II in real time.

I sifted through some relevant texts and pulled what I thought might be helpful in the 
future. Some of these texts included Hans Blumenberg’s Shipwreck With Spectator, the 
Freud concordance, and, eventually, Moby Dick. I was looking to “abuse” the text (as 
John McVey would say) by pulling only bits and pieces that I thought I could manipulate 
to help me later on. The quotes I chose from all of the texts had a metaphorical/philosophical 
tone to them.

While looking at words I thought about the term “sailor’s yarn”. I looked at it as a bit of 
a joke and decided that if a sailor had literal yarn, it would be rope. So, I began making 
rope while listening to Moby Dick on audiobook. This enabled me to make something physical.

After a stint of procrastination/not knowing what to do, I began looking at lines and points. 
Once rope is brought onboard a ship, it is referred to as “line”, so I laid the lyrics/lines 
of sea shanties over lines of rigging. I found search patterns used by the coastguard and 
incorporated those into the piece. I then pulled the coordinates of shipwrecks (I chose to 
work with those visible from Google Maps) and represented those as dots. In later iterations, 
I included the quotes I had pulled earlier on in the process. As an almost final product, I 
created a large sheet of paper to be divied up into 6” x 9” pages for a book.

No comments:

Post a Comment