as previously stated
‘as previously stated’ is a collaboration between poet Soleil David and myself in the form of an outdoor site-specific work. It is located on the grounds of the I-Park residency in Connecticut, alongside the Chalance path, where a few years back a large group of trees succumbed to Spongy Moth. All that is left of these trees are their tall standing, sometimes swaying trunks. The work consist of 19 plywood signs, screwed into these trunks, forming a cluster, highlighting the area, this tree cemetery of a kind. The signs mimic “DO NOT TRESPASS” or “POSTED” signs in size and font, so typical in forested areas, and carry lines from David’s textual experiments in Docupoetics.
‘as previously stated’ explores the inaccessibility and loss of initial meaning and intent that occurs over time, with generational obstacles, physical decay, lack of access to the original, or because the language or cultural background is foreign, or just full of jargon.
The installation becomes slowly visible when following the Chalance path. It is meant to deceive at first, pretending to be just one ‘regular’ sign, suddenly overwhelming in quantity, becoming comically absurd or disorienting. The signs all talk simultaneously and there are no instructions on how to interact with the work. The language of the text is formal and authoritative but not fully graspable, for instance:
‘unfriendly with sympathies, this source reflects reservations’
‘bureau for review for information investigation’
‘The purpose of skin and allied last residence’
‘as previously stated’ itself is made to exist in several forms. Beginning as a field of signs hung from tree trunks, in a field of dead trees, it is designed for nature to tamper with. The signs are screwed into dead wood which will expel them slowly, or the trees will fall, bringing them down. And the signs themselves are written in charcoal, which will rub off or dissolve in rain or snow, overtime becoming illegible and disappear all together.