[HOME]         Richard Lewis Roth,
Moop 267, 2001, oil, 24"x 26"

Moop wording: Which information
builds and which wastes time?

(See below.)

I had already started getting arbitrary in the symbol reading order in Moop 263 and others, but in a limited way. In this present work I completely scrambled the shape locations and used dotted or dashed connecting lines to show the proper reading sequence.

Instead of arranging the consecutive Moop characters in the usual reading sequence, left to right and top down, I scattered them randomly over the canvas. I produced the random scattering by making a grid of the canvas, in this case 6 by 6. Then in the regular reading order, left to right, top to bottom, I labeled each space with a number using dice to produce numbers between one and 36.

I then placed the letters of the statement in the appropriately numbered boxes, the first letter in the number one box wherever it happened to be, the second in the number two box, etc. I then connected the shapes by dotted lines according to their numerical sequence so that the statement could be read out.

I made the rule that a line would go from the bottom of a shape to the top of the next shape so that each shape was connected by two lines, the entering and the exiting, except of course for the first and the last ones. My hope was that the resulting winding weaving and crossing might produce an unexpectedly interesting global effect complementing the other elements of the work. The inspiration to connect randomly placed shapes to produce a random winding effect came, I believe, from Marcel Duchamp. As I recall, he dropped a string to the floor and photographed the winding crossing result. I also thought of elaborate highway intersections and electronic circuitry patterns.

I used these ideas again in Moop 271.