Mortal Metaphors 


This project is a response to this article in the form of nine tabloid size pieces of paper that amount to a surface area of roughly 20.45 inches by 131 inches. This narrow design was incorporated into a wall installation produced for my Product, Environment, and Material class taught by Maziyar Pahlevan.

When originally prompted with these odd dimensions, I knew I wanted to utilize the entire length of my allotted space. I arrived at this visual solution by creating an epic poem out of a sequence of metaphors.

The poem starts off with the phrase “glacial pace,” which is the main metaphor discussed in the article, as it is a prime example of what will be considered a dead metaphor. Glaciers are becoming obsolete, subsequently causing the phrase to lose its meaning. From that first metaphor, I created a cascaded of other metaphors. Each metaphor shares one word with the phrase directly above it. By visually referring to the previous phrase, I emphasize how language itself is referential. Without context or knowledge of the physical thing they refer to, each of these metaphors make little sense.

I wanted to draw attention to the way we communicate—how we  speak in terms of our physical world, our bodies, and our surroundings. Will any of these metaphors we use now make sense in the future? What will happen to our language which is built around our physical world if that world is changing so rapidly? What will happen when the things we are referring to no longer exist or begin to behave differently? 


The physicality of this project also contributes to it’s meaning. Since it is printed on a degradable, flimsy material, the work itself will deteriorate over time and eventually be unrecognizable. 






Mark