The northern end of Helsinki’s Tennis Palace will brighten dramatically when Charles Sandison’s installation Language Is Dead fills the expanse of the building’s arched façade.
The installation consists of a moving mass of words projected onto the surface of the wall. Produced by HAM Helsinki Art Museum, the temporary piece will be turned on during the dark hours of the day between 31 December 2016 and 13 January 2017.
Language is Dead is based on a computer program and a digital copy of The Origin of Species. Words from the book are positioned invisibly on the wall one at the time, and when the programme starts, the full stops from the end of all the sentences in the book are transformed into virtual micro-organisms that feed on text. When the micro-organisms detect a word, they gather around to digest it, thus making the invisible word readable to the viewer. The work can be likened to an old book left neglected on a shelf in a damp room for years, the paper suffering from mildew and slowly beginning to decay as it is consumed by micro-organisms.
Charles Sandison is a Tampere-based artist who works with computer-based art. A self-taught programmer, he codes all his own works. His art is based on the alternation of lightness and darkness and on words and text. Sandison once said that he is a writer born into the body of a visual artist.
The work is being produced to celebrate the launch of the Finland 100 jubilee and the Lux Helsinki Festival and to wish all citizens of Helsinki a happy new year.
Source: press release