Transparent Circumstance

A language is a form of communication, whether it is through the use of spoken word, hand gestures or written text, it allows us to communicate with one another through a system that is both organized and relatable.

“Transparent Circumstance” is a visual language that focuses on the communication of emotions through the use of transparent color. The language relies on the connection of several components that work together to begin to articulate a story, based on time and user participation.

Twelve different emotions; six positive and six oppositely negative emotions are depicted through the use of transparent color and shape. Each set of conflicting emotions is grouped together by color, i.e. happy and sad are both executed using a transparent pink acrylic, while joy and grief share the same yellow color.

The form of each emotion is extracted from a line drawing used to tell a personal life journey. The organic forms overlap in asymmetrical ways to create new, denser and more meaningful relationships between these emotions. There are three bases on which these emotions can be attached to through the use of a peg. The first base represents “me,” a personal expression from oneself to another, and the second represents “you,” a role reversal, in which the two participants begin to assess one another. The final structure represents “us,” a collaborative effort that facilitates communication and resolution.

Time is represented in this system as well. Each base can be secured to the wall by using one of three ropes. Each rope represents the past, the present and the future and is designated by one of three different colors. The combination of all of these materials allows the user to write a sentence, the more complex the combination of elements the more detailed the story gets. For example one could say “I love you now,” or “We have shared sadness and grief in the past.” The layering of the transparent colors allows for an overlap of emotions. One rarely feels simply joy or exclusively sadness. This system encourages both self-reflection and communication. By combining these transparent, jewel-toned emotions together one can find beauty and clarity in even the most difficult and negative of times.


Made of: poplar, latex paint, plexiglass, vinyl print