Tim Sterling  2017 Blinding by the light

Blinding by the light

‘The denial of contingency is not simply an issue of aesthetics and visual order, but a much wider one of social control and cultural cleansing.’

‘Tree’ and ‘Trees’

‘In … repressing the sense of homelessness that haunted their efforts to make a home, the colonial settlers turned the resulting anxiety outwards, expressing it as an aggression towards the land. As a result, they shared the ironic fate of the destructive character: clearing the land only intensified its agoraphobic charge. The more they tried to drive the symptoms out, the more they reproduced it. In the process of removing trees and overgrazing, they advanced towards self-destruction. Yet the panic to produce an ideal flatness from which every ghost of the environmental unconscious had been removed seems to have been irresistible.’2

Resembling a tree symbol used for architectural plans ‘Tree’, consists of pencils fixed with cable ties in a way that allows them to twitch on the spot and create small drawings.

While ‘Trees’ is made from the same materials it’s arranged to resemble a forest with chaotic and dense structures. As the pencils were joined with the cable ties, pencil marks were unintentionally created on the work surface showing an incidental history of accumulated marks.

‘Page 7, (apocalyptic camouflage)’

Virilio states that ‘overexposure’ of catastrophes to the public through various media’s ‘incessant repetition of tragedies’ creates a form of ‘censorship through illumination …. a blinding by the light’.3

On top of a hand drawn isometric grid I have portrayed buildings constructed from wire fences and digital displays encountering various catastrophes, fire, flooding, collapsing and sinking while using repetition to create a camouflage.


  1. Till, J. 2008, ‘Architectture and Contingency’, field: a free journal for architecture, vol.1 (1), ISSN: 1755-068, MIT Press, viewed 23 May 2017, https://jeremytill.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/post/attachment/33/arch_and_contingency.pdf
  2. Carter P, ‘Repressed Spaces: The Poetics of Agoraphobia’, Reaktion Books Ltd, London, 2002, p. 157
  3. Virilio P, ‘Unknown Quantity’ Thames & Hudson, New York, 2003, p.62.