Way Out Is Way In

2009

Poemdrum

300 x 60 cm diameter

Painted steel solvent drums, 3 phase motor, inverter and programmed speed and direction control chip, halogen lighting.
5 words from Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs

Collection of the Artist.

SEE SOUND AS MOVING LINES OF LIGHT
Liliane Lijn, 1968

The physicist David Bohm, whose seminars Lijn attended in the early 1970s said that ‘Matter is ‘frozen light’. Light, defined as something travelling at the speed of light, contains all information.’ This led her to understand that light and language were indeed inextricably interconnected.

In Way Out is Way In, Lijn combines the two main elements of her early work, light and text, in a column of luminous words made from points of light, borrowing a phrase from William Burroughs’ The Naked Lunch considered to be Burroughs’ seminal work. In common with Burroughs, whom Lijn met in Paris in the early 1960’s, she has a lifelong interest in science and technology. Lijn’s interest in science, again much like his, was connected to her early interest in ancient civilizations and their myths and rituals.

The 3-meter column is made from used industrial drums that are programmed to rotate at steadily increasing speeds until the words, a tracery of drilled holes, blur into vibrating pulses of light. In Way Out Is Way In, the word becomes light and light slowing down appears as the word.

Photographs by Klaus Wehner