Words are frustrating. For something so cumbersome and nebulous, language holds a great deal of power over our collective thoughts and actions. A series of ultra-high resolution digital renderings and animations offer several ways of visualizing the hierarchical structure in the definitions of words whose true meanings can be elusive. These renderings are visual representations, Complete Definitions. They are a set of words that contains all words in the definitions arising from an initial seed word. Beginning at a single point, lines are drawn starting between the seed word and the words needed to define it, and then the words needed to define those words, and then the next words, and so on until no new words are needed.
By arranging and connecting the relationships between these words and the words needed to define them, structures emerge to show how confined, repetitive, closed, and isolated our words are.
Dorner Prize, a juried competition for RISD students to create site-specific, temporary projects at the RISD Museum, was first established in 1995. These artistic interventions can take the form of a physical, digital, or programmatic encounter, and can examine, critique, or celebrate the Museum’s collections, architectural idiosyncrasies, habits of visitation, and or/web presence.
Dorner Prize, named for distinguished RISD Museum director Alexander Dorner (tenure 1938-1941), is made possible by a generous anonymous gift.