Last fall I set out visually illustrate an ephemeral thought. I was contemplating: demolition, the history of a space and place, the slow continuous transformation of a seemingly stable physical construction-a home, and the reality that we rarely consider the negative space that our bodies physically inhabit. How might I draw attention to the empty space of a room without talking only about the space's perimeters?
For years I have visited and revisited the 11th verse of the Tao Te Ching. I met this text in 2004. A friend recited it to me from memory as he observed me carefully encasing glass jars in shrink wrap like handmade paper. Imprinted in my mind, I find myself repeating it at the most inexplicable moments.
Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.
-Lao Tzo, Tao Te Ching