Projects > Tlön, 2003

"Tlön, or How I held in my hands a vast methodical fragment of an unknown planet’s entire history", 2003. Mixed media slide dissolve projection onto Morpho didius butterflies, honeycomb, aluminum, cork, velvet, and pins. 145 x 305 x 5 cm. 4min.loop

The work is based on a Borges story, “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbius Tertius”, which recounts the invention of a virtual cosmos, Uqbar, and its idealized knowledge system called Tlön, attributed to "the conjunction of a mirror and an encyclopedia." The space of the imagined planet is akin to the space of the screen in this work. A dissolve sequence of astronomy slides is projected onto a suspended screen of Morpho butterflies pinned into a grid. Two systems are overlaid: documentation of the heavens and the classification of wildlife. When combined, the two elements become a system of ordering and symmetry that is at once mystical and sadistic, absurd and universal.