Monday, February 18, 2008

160 characters of art (I): Prime number tribute to On Kawara

Welcome to our series 160 CHARACTERS OF ART.
Here is the first piece of art, given away for free for anybody to perform and get famous with, an idea announced earlier here.



PRINT ALL INTEGERS 1 TO 1 MILLION INTO A BOOK OR MORE THAN ONE, WRITE NEXT TO EACH WHETHER IT IS PRIME OR NOT, E.G. 971 IS A PRIME NUMBER. LAY OUT ON A TABLE.

(158 characters)

This idea came to me when I realised what a shaman of time On Kawara is, and it coincided perfectly well with my obsession with prime numbers.
His series of telegrams he was sending out to friends for a certain time stating simply “I am still alive.” may well have been my first contact with a concept of (life–)time passing when my mother told me about it. I must have been five.
He finally took my breath with printing out about a million years in tomes and tomes of books, not unlike a monstrous telephone directory. All you could look up in these directories, though, was the information that the year 902 BC must have directly followed the year 903 BC. Redundant for those with a concept of calendarial time, of course, but allowing for a very fresh and different look at its passing. Therefore, On Kawara deserves his own honorary brick in the wall of time.
— The number ray with its most peculiar inhabitants, the primes, simply should be honored and acknowledged in a directory as well, choosing the most considerate typography only and the most luxurious printing products available.

Feel free to perform this piece of art. Please send complimentary copies (a test pdf of only the numbers 1 to 600 000 in a one column per page / typical font size layout yielded a few thousand pages). However, as Borges rightly notes at the end of the Babel library, it is of course up to you how small the type or how thin the paper.



160 CHARACTERS OF ART, an initiative of walloftime.net.

Dieser Beitrag ist auf Englisch, doch einiges an der Zeitmauer gibt es auch in der hervorragenden Kultur- und Verwaltungssprache Deutsch zu lesen.

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