Neon light, 2009

The phrase „The Shooting of Officers“ is taken from the book Fatal Words: Communication Clashes
and Aircraft Crashes (1994) by linguist Steven Cushing. One of Cushing’s fields of research examines misunderstanding in communication due to phonological, syntactical, and semantic polysemy.

Fatal Words takes a look at misunderstanding in aviation communication and can be read as a manual for the intelligible exchange of information as countless accidents in aviation result from misinter pretation by pilots and air-traffic controllers. „The Shooting of Officers“ is a sample phrase in Cushing’s book that is used to disclose multiple possible interpretations that follow linguistic ambiguity.

The work is a transformation of this phrase into a light sculpture that depicts a multiplicity of understandings by literally illuminating various meanings of the phrase and making the fragility of language and interpretation visible in letters made of glass.