Works 1

This work is drawn from the book 100! facts preserved from china.

rule i, measure matters (18cm)

Picture 10 of 16

Preserved Information

I’ve tried to provide these facts with a place to rest, revive, and breed. In a way, I have domesticated them for the time being. It may appear that I’ve done violence to the forms by removing them from their natural environment and putting them on display. But that is only how it appears. These incidental forms were buried and forgotten. I discovered them in a state of neglect, of being overlooked. Since then I have placed them in new ground with controlled exposure, one in which they can recover within well-defined boundaries. As these forms revive, I have come to know them intimately. I accommodate their needs, desires, and intentions. I assimilate these facts.

If this sounds like a confession then it is: I believe the facts want me to disabuse myself of a conviction of imposition. I am not ferreting out meaning from these forms. The shit was already there. It’s always been there but overlooked. The emptiness that I sometimes feel in the process of “making” the facts is evidence of this. It is a glimpse beyond myself into a world in which I am merely a habitat like a rainforest or coral reef.


100! facts displays a tract of earth. Each piece is an isolated site of excavation, an uncovering of buried forms. The forms were discovered at construction sites throughout China, and although they correspond to a particular time and place of construction, I like to think of the relationships established through them — their factual content — as being present in any phase of construction at any site, be it contemporary or historical, local or global. I did not intend to make a piece that was “site specific”. The construction sites just happened to be where I was compelled to dig, reveal, and preserve. The presence of facts is what betrays an illusion of specificity.

The facts could be sourced from the base of skyscraper in Chongqing or under rubble of row housing in Kunming. However I imagine that this same excavation and analysis can be carried out in any culture under construction and the same conclusions will be reached. Just as the discovery of the concept “0” occurred in different places in isolated conditions, so these forms are emergent in mental paradigms, regardless of cultural specificities. There is a substratum in which these forms reside and given the right ground the same facts will surface, though they may appear different. I discovered them because I submitted myself to them. In fact I did not discover the forms. I am just hosting them.


Each piece is like a small territory in the map of my mind that a fact has conquered and is doing everything in its power to hold its ground.