The Measure of All Things

Cleveland, OH
Spring 13

The title of the piece “The Measure of All Things” is taken from the Greek sophist Protagoras: “Man is the measure of all things: of things which are, that they are, and of things which are not, that they are not”.

The goal of the piece is to produce a large number of personalized measuring rods.  Each measuring rod is a wooden object 1″ x 1″ x the height of the participant. The rod is divided into ten units, marked by alternating bands of black and white. One of the divided segments of the measuring rod is subdivided into 10 units, marked by alternating bands of black and white.

Example: Stephanie decides to participate in the piece. The artist will measure her height on a pre-painted white 1 x 1 square wooden rod. Later, the artist will cut the rod to the proper height. This measuring rod is now 1 Stephanie long. He will divide the rod into ten equal segments. Each of these units is equal to one deciStephanie (1/10 a Stephanie). The top segment will be further divided into ten equal segments.  Each of these units is equal to one centiStephanie (1/100 a Stephanie). After marking and taping the segments, the artist will paint the alternating segments black. Once complete the Stephanie measuring unit will become part of the exhibition. The measuring rod is both a useful tool to measure the world by one standard and as a minimalist sculptural object.

Each participant’s measuring rod has the name of the participant on one side of the rod. The measuring rods lean against walls allowing the measure of a participant to hold a presence in the space during the show. Visitors are allowed to rearrange the measuring rods in the exhibition space.

To participate in the piece, please contact me either by phone (216) 678-0534, or email joseph (at) connellyart (dot) com

The Measure of All Things

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The participant, from whom the measurement is produced, will change over time, either through growth or decline. The measuring rod will retain its fixed measure, but lose it correlation to its first measurement.

This piece is a development of my earlier work with audience participation and producing serial objects and souvenirs. It is also an outgrowth of more recent work of using other bodies as the measurement for sculptures.

Nearly 10 years in the making. Thanks Daniel, the tool maker, thanks JAC-L, who made the space to make the piece. And special thanks to Sara and Zach, no words are enough to say thank you.

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One Response to The Measure of All Things

  • Ian Solomon
    September 13, 2013

    Lovely idea!!

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Copyright 2012, Joseph Connelly