Light, Sound, Text

Joshua Clayton

Light, Sound, Text: Semiotics of a Technological Sublime is a site-specific installation that explores language encoding and mysticism through the early history of telecommunications.

On May 24, 1844, Samuel Morse transmitted four words from Washington to Baltimore: “What hath God wrought,” transforming the relationship of communication to presence. The selection of Numbers 23:23 points to a spiritually charged cultural response to telegraphy and the channels it opened. I’m interested in layering upon this history a formal inquiry into the semiotics of mysticism—exploring the process of language encoding in architectural space. Light, Sound, Text incorporates neon light and printed matter in a sonic installation of Morse code as both text and sensory experience.

User Scenario
The project conveys texts in the form of Morse code through neon light and sculpted sound. A 36” × 50” poster adds a layer of context and references movement across a landscape. These elements function in architectural space both as a communal, sensory experience and as messages to be decoded and read.