Way Out Is Way In Poemdrum
In homage to William S. Burroughs
3 metres high, 60 cm diameter
Painted steel solvent drums, 3 phase motor, inverter and programmed speed and direction control chip, halogen lighting.
5 words from Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
SEE SOUND AS MOVING LINES OF LIGHT
Liliane Lijn, 1968
The physicist David Bohm, whose seminars I attended in the early 1970s said that ‘Matter is ‘frozen light’. Light, defined as something travelling at the speed of light, contains all information.’ This led me to understand that light and language were indeed inextricably interconnected.
In Way Out is Way In, I combine the two main elements of my early work, light and text, in a column of luminous words made from points of light, borrowing a phrase from William Burroughs’ The Naked Lunch considered to be Burroughs' seminal work. In common with Burroughs, whom I met in Paris in the early 1960’s, I have a lifelong interest in science and technology. My interest in science, again much like his, was connected to my early interest in ancient civilizations and their myths and rituals.
The 3-meter column is made from used industrial drums that are programmed to rotate at steadily increasing speeds until the words, a tracery of drilled holes, blur into vibrating pulses of light. In Way Out, the word becomes light and light slowing down appears as the word.
Filmed during exhibition, Space - Time, curated by Grainne Sweeney, National Glass Centre April- August 2009
Edited with Richard Wilding
Voices: Liliane Lijn, Richard Wilding