Belief Set One (2000)
Materials: handmade book, ink pad, wood, steel, vinyl, wheels
I performed this piece three times in and around the campus of Georgia State University in Atlanta (Jeff Morrow participated during one performance). The piece was designed to engage random people on the sidewalk in discussions concerning Nelson Goodman’s theory of representation. I didn’t discuss his theory straight out but rather through an example in the local environment. The discussions began with my handing people one of the wood blocks with the words “Genuine Replica” stamped on them. I would then make the claim that this block was a replica of something in the immediate environment (a manhole, a building, a car, etc.). The conversations were interesting and would weave their way through different aspects of symbol system usage. Eventually I would get them to make a decision as to whether this block was a replica as I claimed. The screen printed book served as a log of these conclusions wherein my interlocutor would leave a thumbprint in one of two sentences: “I, [thumbprint], believe that resemblance is necessary for replicahood.” or “I, [thumbprint], believe resemblance is irrelevant to replicahood.” The blocks with “Genuine Replica” stamped on them were given away to those that participated…I wonder what went through their mind as the block found the trash later in the day.