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, fingers of a feeler gauge are freed to fly. (Cyanotypes of the feeler gauge variously fanned or folded also gesture toward these twinklings, while the audio comprises the figures’ whispered names slowed down to expand the slices of space they occupy.)
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?”
Jennie E. Park is a Korean American artist, writer and curator interested in interdisciplinarity and integrated approaches to healing and honesty. She is currently a CalArts MFA student in Art and Creative Writing with a concentration in Integrated Media, and her research- and project-based practice is informed by graduate degrees in psychology and law. She has shown work in the past year through Torrance Art Museum, MOZAIK Philanthropy, CSU Long Beach, Imagine Entertainment and Other Places art fair, among other venues, and has contributed interviews, reviews and essays to Artillery and other arts publications.