The Reductionist

Note: This essay accompanies my ‘Identity Art Series’.

We reduce, delete, generalise, filter and simplify the outside world to such a degree that our reality is nothing more than a guesswork lattice, mapping fragments of the vista of experience. Information is everywhere, literally. We move through the world unaware of most of the information, perceiving and judging the steady stream that does make its way into our minds. Of course our consciousness couldn’t cope with much more than we currently accept, not without sacrificing some element here or there. We are indeed deletion creatures, and that brings us to the post-it note.

It has been said that the understanding can be found in the smallest grain of sand, we needn’t look out to the oceans for the understanding we have inside of us already. I write my sentence. The post-it note is a tangible indicator of our dealing with reality, we think of events in detail, filter down to key components and summarise this in writing to ourselves at a later point in time. Whenever we again look at the post-it note, we must go through that same process in reverse make meaning out of the fragmented clues we left ourselves.

What if we used the post-it note to explore our own identity, if we shattered the mirrors that look back in despair, and instead trusted in 76mm2 coloured sheets of partially adhered paper? What if that 76mm2 space became the equivalent of the entire world, what if we got lost beyond comprehension only to find our salvation in our own marks?

We once discovered the truest meaning of humanity, but forgot what it was. For years we searched and searched, but found only contempt. What if we remembered who we were, who we are and who we are going to be? What if we are already all of those things?

(2006)

River Hunt