I declared this piece at a pedestrian crosswalk near St. Louis’ Forest Park, after noticing that it (like a lot of crosswalks), doesn’t actually do anything other than make a beep when you press it. A potent metaphor? Eh, I guess if you want it to be…
In a chaotic, uncaring universe, (wo)mankind has always sought for a sense of order and control amid the anarchy, be it through religion, ritual, or the implementation of the ‘rule of law.’ Laws, we are meant to believe, are inherent ‘truths,’ as opposed to attempts to fit the government’s binary narrative of ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’
This piece, designed to pose as a pedestrian crosswalk button, is a perfect embodiment of humanity’s attempt to the control their environment, even though the actual effect of that ‘control’ is ultimately an illusion. This button, when pressed, makes an audible beep, denoting that the pedestrian’s request for passage has been ‘heard.’ However, traffic continues to flow uninterrupted. If the light turns red soon after the button is used, we give ourselves credit for controlling our sphere, not unlike a shaman taking responsibility for precipitation after performing a rain dance.`
This traffic light changes on its own rhythmic cycle, a metaphor for the turning of days, seasons or the waxing and waning of the moon. Buttons may be pressed, but in the end, sometimes the universe is timed in your favor, and sometimes one must wait… or brave the dangerous ‘road’ and the government’s raised red hand, glowing for you to stop and do as you’re told.