JENNIE E. PARK
Flight of the Feeler Gauge (2021)
Sculpture: 84" x 30" x 30". Steel, 26 feeler gauge fingers, metal chain and rings, MDF, shredded paper, gearbox motor, motor mount hardware, paint, glue, fish line, power cord
Digital video: 0:21 minutes
A feeler gauge's poetry lies both in its name and the ability of its fingers to slip into spaces that are generally overlooked or seemingly nonexistent, like the sliver of a gap between a table and its legs or a window and its frame. The tool embodies these liminal, subtle, unseen and unarticulated spaces (or feelings) and provides notation for them.
Roland Barthes' "twinklings" of the Neutral – flashes and figures outside of binary or oppositional paradigms – are liminal cracks, fissures or portals in or out of our "normal" as well. Here, in a nod to these playful twinklings or figures, feeler gauge blades are freed to fly, shredding through calcified "normal" registers.
If feeler gauge fingers can break free from their case, and as subjects rather than objects feel expansion and joy, how might we retool or reimagine our own embodiments, configurations and expressions of "solutions" or "liberation?"