i had wanted to turn some books into lightboxes for quite some time (i have 4 or 5 boxes of condensed Reader's Digests, thanks to the local Catholic Church), but had no idea how to go about constructing them. that was the primary challenge since i was absolutely ignorant about the electrical logistics of the planned (hoped for?) piece, and the metaphors of books and light were core to the work. without the lightbox/books, i would have made an entirely different exhibition (though not really - it would still involve the idea of books and explore many of the same ideas). and now i can explore those ideas for other spaces.
in my sketchbooks i collect random [para]phrases and quotes, and recipes for kneeling was one that had been resonating for some time. that phrase became the generating impulse for the exhibition. i knew that i would use books, and i knew that i wanted to use light (and therefore darkness). i knew that i wanted to incorporate an interactive and physical (ritual?) element. the main issue was: how do i build them? the second issue was: what kinds of images do i want to employ (if any)? of course, there were other questions: what media? do i use collage? drawing? painting? should i use text? what size? how many? what arrangement?
to be honest, i tried revisiting previous abandoned images and pieces, but nothing seemed to really suit the piece. while i do tend to work more conceptually (.e. i have an idea and i work towards that idea, considering how the materials 'work' or 'speak', as well as what kinds of images or texts that i want to use) there is also an intuitive component to developing the work and the images/ texts, and the connections between those elements. the first image that seemed to work for the piece was a combination of the following 2 images (which did get used for the piece, albeit in slightly altered form):
these images started generating other related images, and that started the process. in addition, i researched the meaning and history of these two words, and solicited responses from friends, acquaintances and strangers through various forums i haunt. they ended up providing me with an interesting list of options and responses, both specific and general, which also generated images.