My inspiration for this project was a movie by Jordan Wolfson with an intriguing title. The title is:

"I'm sorry but I don't want to be an Emperor--that's not my business--I don't want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that. We all want to live by each other's happiness, not by each other's misery. We don't want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the way. Greed has poisoned men's souls--has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in: machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little: More than machinery we need humanity; More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say "Do not despair." The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people will return to the people, and so long as men die [now] liberty will never perish... Soldiers--don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you--who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon fodder. Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate--only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers--don't fight for slavery, fight for liberty. In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written "the kingdom of God is within man"--not one man, nor a group of men--but in all men--in you, the people. You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let's use that power--let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfill their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. Soldiers--in the name of democracy, let us all unite! Look up! Look up! The clouds are lifting--the sun is breaking through. We are coming out of the darkness into the light. We are coming into a new world. A kind new world where men will rise above their hate and brutality. The soul of man has been given wings--and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow--into the light of hope--into the future, that glorious future that belongs to you, to me and to all of us. Look up. Look up."

When I saw this, I had no idea why the title might be what it was. I read it fully through and decided the words were interesting enough to me that I should watch the video, which I've deemed impossible to embed, but can be found in the following two locations:

The video spoke to me in a way that made me wonder. In the video, the man speaks not with his mouth or his face or his body language, but his hands alone. The body of this video is exactly that: only a body. Unless you speak sign language, it's nearly impossible to know what he's saying without reading along or having memorized the title. The film is black and white, and the subject wears a tuxedo, and in conjunction with the lack of a head, the piece gives off a vibe of uniformity and emphasis of only one variable: the words being spoken to us as viewers. From this I drew the conclusion that the artist, Jordan Wolfson, has attempted a mode of communication through which there are no mediating factors. There is no body language or context for what we are told; there are no voice inflections or sounds to stimulate our emotions; there is no color to subliminally alter our moods. We have only the words.

Captivated by this motive of pure communication, I decided to base by piece on Mr. Wolfson's ideas.


My piece, which I've ironically titled "Untitled", is based on the same principle of purifying communication of an idea or ideas. There are a few key alterations to Mr. Wolfson's concepts, however, such as the addition of a second variable into the mix. Whereas Mr. Wolfson introduced a video with the viewer's focus forcefully directed only at the words being given to us, I have created a video in which the viewer's attention is directed both at the starring words and the emotion being conveyed by the writer's hands. The idea of narrowing other factors out of the equation still stands; there is no face to play on the viewer's opinions, there is no color to move attention beyond the focal point. What I have tried to achieve here is an a mode for the viewer to see both primary and secondary communication of an idea. Another comparison between Mr. Wolfson's work and my own is the words being conveyed. In Mr. Wolfson's piece, the words were full of ideas but had almost no emotional inflections. Though the words themselves conveyed ideas that many would consider moving or beautiful, they were not actually emotionally charged. In my work, it is easy to think the secondary mode of communication is the expressiveness of the hands writing the words, but it is important to remember that I intended for the emotional secondary mode of communication to be delivered through the expressiveness of the words. The words themselves were a poem entitled "Don't Go Far Off" by Pablo Neruda, a renowned author of love poems. I chose his words from this poem because they literally drip with agony and it would be near impossible to not receive some emotional stimulus from reading them. They seemed an appropriate selection for the idea I have tried to convey.