Peter Vance - United Kingdom

Signifier/Signified, 2023, Laser-exposed Darkroom Photography ,188 x 44 cm.


Six words that have gone out of use in the English language were played through a speaker. A mirror vibrated in response, deflecting a laser beam: its path captured by a rotating sheet of photographic paper. 


Words that have gone or are going “extinct”, occupy a space where they sound like they belong to the language they are from but could equally not be words at all. Much like hearing a language you don't understand, their form rather than their meaning dominates. This quality, the emphasising of the aesthetic of the word over its meaning, mirrors precisely what the process used to visualise them does.


Presented with the definition of the word underneath them, a tension between the abstract form the word creates and its meaning is established.


Video of Process:

Closeups of each photograph:



Artwork Details

Photography - Other
Artwork Size - Width 188cm | Height 48cm |
Created in 2023

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