Thomas Van Houten
Boxing the Compass
Steel, Rubber, & Leather
This device has eight spring loaded arms connected to a hand made harness that pulls its wearer in eight directions at one. This pulling action serves as a metaphor for emotional conflict but also ironically holds the wearer firmly in one place. The title refers to the ancient practice of reciting the names of the eight primary winds and their subdivided increments. when one could recite all thirty two in order one had "boxed the compass". This was seen as a basic measure of competence for mariners. In this way knowledge supports and confines the way we understand our relationship to the world.
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