Work in Progress: Truth is not a sentence - First Christian Church

Video, Laser, Sound Installation
H 30' W 50' D 50'
11. 24. 01 - 12. 15. 2001
First Christian Church, Seattle, WA


Numeric coordinates of cross sections describe the interior space of the First Christian Church. They are visible inside the sanctuary from two pairs of LCD panels on the altar and between the pews. Sitting at the pews, facing the panels, viewers see their image mixed with the numbers. A laser plane intersects the sanctuary revealing a cross section of the space and making reference to those represented by the numbers. A voice speaking invented words plays with the ambiguity of language while on the pulpit another LCD panel continuously repeats Truth Is Not a Sentence. The ambiguity of the word sentence in English meaning both verdict and a collection of words is intentionally played against the ambiguities of truth.

Project Description

The notion of site-specific installation is significant and unique in this work because sanctuaries are somewhat public places laden by symbolic meanings. By integrating words and numbers with contemporary systems of communication such as digital media, laser, and interactive technologies, I observed dynamic perspectives of people merging with the numbers – the sanctuary – and the luminous plane – the laser – and used them as a means to reflect on new realities of being and construction of meanings. From the viewer's perspective, the translation and migration of media from the sanctuary to numbers and to digital space, the piece was both the event and place of physical and symbolic manifestations of spaces together interacting with people in real time, and in multiple places. Concerning the luminous plane made by the laser intersecting the columns, it was apparent that the plane was moving but it was not always clear whether it was the laser or the columns.

The translation, migration, and convergence of media in art, which this work explores, occupies a critical space in the writings of contemporary art. Indeed as Roy Ascott notes in his essay, Seeing Double: Art and the Technology of Trascendence, "Our experiments with the technology of being, involving for example VR, telepresence, hypermedia, may be the prelude to our eventual migration from the body into other forms of identity. Unlike the material body, the mind cannot be contained; it leaks out everywhere. It is as if our destiny is to make intelligence ubiquitous. Migration from the body does not imply its disappearance but the emergence of the multiple self, the distributed body, whose telepresent corporeality creates its own field of being." Pagg. 66-67.


This project emerged and gained support from 911 Media Art Center and its Artist in Residency Program. This program nurtures emerging and established artists using digital media as an art form. The Artist in Residence program is made possible through generous support from: the Andrea Frank Foundation, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the Allen Foundation for the Arts.

911 Media Arts Center
Bellevue Art Museum
Bruce at OSEAO Studios

Special Thanks

Ed Mannery
Bardi Martin
Pete Bjordahl
David Donar
Sean Taylor
Pedro Alexander
Greg D'Elia
Peter Drury
Howard T. Howlett
Howard Meeks
Corey Contreras
Franklin Joyce
Kelly Wilbur
Uldis Zarins