My work, "One and Three Computers", is a digital reproduction of Joseph Kosuth's "One and Three Chairs". The original work by Kosuth consists of an actual chair, a photograph of that same chair, and a blown up definition of the word chair. In this piece Kosuth plays with linguistic theory, specifically Saussure's concept that language is comprised of three parts: the signifier, signified and sign. The signifier is essentially a representation of a concept, the signified is the concept that signifier represents, and the sign is the word itself which is a combination of the signifier and signified. In Kosuths piece, the actual wooden chair is the signified, the photograph on the left of the chair is the signifier, and the word chair with its dictionary definition is the sign. Regardless, however, of whether or not one is familiar with linguistic theory, everyone can appreciate the concept behind the work as it presents the viewer with three variations of something we usually associate as one. Placing them all together, however, forces us to question our own association with the concept.
Following Kosuth's concept I created "One and Three Computers" which consists of my computer, a photograph of my computer, and the dictionary definition of the word 'computer' on the screen of that second computer (the image). Ideally, this work, like that of Kosuth's should be viewed in person---as a documentation of the work slightly takes away from the concept. In the documentation, you have an image of the computer rather than the actual one, and therefore it slightly blurs the distinction between the real computer and the photograph of the computer. The image provided here, however, gives a sense of the work, as does an image of Kosuth's "One and Three Chairs".
Kosuth's composition is organized with the actual chair against a white wall where the definition and photograph are evenly placed on either side of it. I could have followed this format and placed the image of the computer and the definition on either side of my computer screen, however, I did not feel it represented the concept as strongly. Though made up of three distinct parts, Kosuth's instillation is unified, it is one instillation not three. In order to translate this unity between the parts of my work, I decided to place the images within one another to remain consistent with the concept of Kosuth's work.