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A system is an organized mechanism—a whole compounded of parts; a repository united by a conceptual framework. It is a recorded inventory of observations, experiences, factual events, and principles to which an artist can refer—a “protocol of activity or occupation,” as suggested by philosopher Gilles Deleuze. It is conceived to give structure, control, and order, but also to bear witness, share, and persuade about the importance of advancing a particular kind of knowledge.

 

From a schoolgirl’s map to a notebook filled with mathematical combinations, these works seek paths to clarity, summary, and resolution through the creation and reiteration of various systems. Nonlinear projects, they were often designed as tools for problem-solving, charting directions, and illuminating complexities, even as they sometimes created new problems of their own.