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W.Y.S.I.W.I.G (book)

Xuan Ye and Benjamin de Boer
Artists' Books
7 × 11 cm
200 pp
New Media, Poetry

Limited edition of 30 + 3 AP
Blue on pastel blue paper risograph
Printed by Vide Press

Have always wanted to make pocket flip books. The idea of a pocket flip book is like a Walkman, a paperback with duration. As the pages brush through the fingertips, the secrets between time and retina emerge. The pocket flip book came to my mind when first conceived of W.Y.I.S.I.W.Y.G. Flipping from the front of the book shows a text cursor pointer that flashes ten times in ten seconds. Flipping from the back of the book is prose and poetry, fragmented, in the reading order of ancient Chinese books.

W.Y.I.S.I.W.Y.G features the GUI caret icon as a light sculpture displayed against a patterned wall with checkers indicating transparency in graphic programs. The vitrine is hereby virtualized into a space that signifies a vacuum ad infinitum. Originally shown as What You See is Where You Go, the second iteration, Wear Your Soul in Wordy Yesterday Gold takes the idea of ultimate asemia further — on the blinking brink of “I”, we stand at the metalinguistic door and set our feet in the undertows of cyber sea, taking refuge in the noise, forever waiting on meanings to dawn.

I was once asked whether this light piece was controlled by computational signals, and my answer was a firm no. W.Y.I.S.I.W.Y.G is just plain, boring, relentless flickering. Like the emergence and disappearance of thoughts, like the waiting before consciousness is translated into language. As the naming of many of my works, W.Y.I.S.I.W.Y.G carries the floating nature of contemporary semiotics. The English words or phrases that I have imposed periods and halts in challenge the most common meanings and reading habits. Letters reorganize and iterate as if they had a life of their own.

–Xuan Ye

  1. W.Y.S.I.W.I.G (book)
  2. W.Y.S.I.W.I.G (book)

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