See Something, Say Something 2017

Shift Space Gallery
Wichita State University
Wichita, Kansas

This project is based on two different interpretations of the cautionary slogan “see something, say something” that has proliferated in urban areas over the past several years. First, the piece presents a formalized version of mathematician John Conway’s Look-and-Say Sequence, which generates an indefinite pattern of integers based on the process of reading numbers out loud. The second component of the work invites viewers to add their own observations, with the simple instructions “write something you have witnessed that has affected you in a profound way.” The open-ended nature of these instructions allows for a variety of interpretations, with both positive and negative responses to “see something, say something” emerging throughout the course of the exhibition. This process asks us to consider the roles that language can play in shaping our experience of the world, from the abstract fear of terrorism to isolated moments of observation that demonstrate beauty and happiness on an individual level. -Curators Text