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Johanna Kindahl

Departing from an interest in the interconnection between different locations, my work reflects on the modes of communication that extend our perception beyond the limits of physical presence in a given place. Although a signal bridges the spatial distance between the sender and receiver, what is being sent out is not exactly what is being received. The signal transforms as it embodies the distance it has traveled through and the elements it has interacted with along the way. In this intermediate state before the signal is entirely received, something can be lost or gained.

The sculptures draw from different strategies for sending a visual signal over distance:

A semaphore is a device to transmit a visual signal over distance. The word semaphore comes from the Ancient Greek σῆμα (sêma) “sign” and -φέρω (-phero) “-bearer”. In a flag semaphore, flags are adjusted into different positions to articulate and send messages. The message can be read when the flags are in a fixed position.

Pennons are long, narrow flags that are larger at the hoist than at the fly. The word derives from the Latin word “penna,” meaning feather or wing.

Butterflies use two ultraviolet signals on their wings, UV reflectance and absorbance as a communication system. In the butterfly Eurema lisa, a small portion of the wing is UV reflective in a specific range of angles. The message shifts depending on the angle between the wing and the receiving butterfly’s eye.

Nectar guides are a form of markings or patterns on the flower petals, leading the pollinators to the reward. In the flower of the horse chestnut, the nectar guides are yellow at first, turning to deep crimson when the flower is pollinated. The nectar guides sometimes also reflect UV light, as another way to attract attention to the specific location.

A beacon marks a specific location with the use of light. The fixed point can be used to navigate around obstacles or into port.

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marking/nectar guide (2024) Steel, polylactide, vinyl and rope
semaphore (double shift 65° low) (detail) (2024) Steel, polylactide, color shift vinyl, rope and rubber
Installation view from mid-signal, Galleri Mejan (2024)
semaphore (double shift 65° low) (detail) (2024) Steel, polylactide (PLA), shifting film, rope and rubber