Jennifer H. Kaufman

"Certain Utterances Uncertain Persons," considers the history of Telegraph Hill, the 19th C. mechanisms of the semaphore and telegraph and how speech and presence are communicated over impossibly long distances. The work includes systems of communication that fasten speech to marking strategies such as Morse Code, lighthouse flash patterns, and fasten text to antiquated lettering devices and drawing tools.

The "Invincible Buoy" wall drawings and "Glimmerstrück I, II" begin with 19th C. nautical maps of the SF Bay, refer to the little-known history of the assemblage of the atom bomb in Marin and SF, and Martin Buber’s essay on mica and mergence.

In all three bodies of work, line unfolds as letter, as tether, as hyphen where “I” meets “You”, as telegraph cables that pulse beneath the ocean and over land. The process begins with a strong sense of sound and an internal cadence particular to the moment. It includes elements of chance, mundane materials and petering, teetering systems. At different speeds, with tools in both hands, I draw lines that meet coherent forms and reckless intimate marks. And marking goes like this: hard mark, fast mark, reasoned and backwards mark, marks that are known, interrupted, erased or dismantled.


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