How important is conversation? Every day, people communicate with signs, symbols, sounds, and gestures. Commuters navigate traffic stops, employees respond to the boss’s orders, and pedestrians offer salutations while passing one another on street corners, but the spaces once reserved for more meaningful communication are being lost in a societal transformation to a digital culture. The acts of talking to others for company and interacting to establish social ties have changed to match the pace of society’s virtual transformation. Environments that were once designed to promote discourse in a pre-digital age now offer refuge to second screens as people slowly come to expect more from technology and less from one another. If there was a place that gave you an opportunity to strike up a conversation with a neighbor, would you talk to them?
The Wiregrass Museum of Art presents Semiotic Compass, a collaborative public art exhibition which will be the basis for corresponding public programs. A large, outdoor sculpture installation, its design inspired by concepts of earnest communication, storytelling, and a sense of geographic belonging, will spur conversation both at the installation site and among the local and regional community.
Semiotic Compass is the third exhibition in a three-part series recognizing Alabama’s Bicentennial and highlights the 2019 bicentennial theme “Sharing Our Stories.”
This exhibition has been made possible by the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Alabama Bicentennial Commission.
Jason Schmidt & Mike Riddle, Semiotic Compass, 2018, Reclaimed wood, concrete, steel, and plastic panels