Michelle Rosenberg
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detail, calendar view documentation of a 'hello' detail, clue #4 video still detail view with participant Double Whistle Board, 2008
June; Visor Calendar
30 modified visors (1 per day)

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London Free Alphabet
found object alphabet, off-set on newsprint poster (edition of 300)

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Median Solve Time: 11 min
mixed media

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Learning How to Land
3 channel video projection, run time: 8min 30seconds

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Whistle Wall

whistles, tubing, modified utility components, straws

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Project Archive
2002 to 2009

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Howard Huang and I were invited to interpret weather data from the SP Weather Station in Queens, NY and create an edition for the 2010 Reports Portfolio. We reduced each day of data to a single descriptive word and ironed it onto a color coded visor. Creating “Visor Calendar” allowed us to explore the parallels between personality traits and the weather.

The London Free Alphabet is a font made of rubbish that corresponds directly to the Roman alphabet. The letter-signs have been chosen acrophonically, so that the first letter of the English name of each object corresponds to the letter it represents (apple core = the letter ‘A’). This type of system is reminiscent of ABC children’s books whose purpose is to familiarize the alphabet to those who know the names of things but are still learning how to write.
The rubbish for this alphabet was collected in a series of walks around South Kensington, Battersea and Islington from mid October to mid November in 2011. It consists of items that are seen often and presumed to be common throughout the streets of London. These items either have a specific size and shape that evade the street cleaner’s broom or accumulate very quickly in between scheduled cleaning times.
The London Free Alphabet is a system of communication. It is not so secretive that it can’t be decoded by the observant passerby. It can act as a stand-in for free communication in an era where communication has been colonized by commercial forms like Facebook and Gmail. It has the potential to re-purpose public space into a public forum. Until more rigorous forms of street cleaning are employed, the characters of this alphabet will continue to be available at no cost all over the streets of London. Please use them to speak to each other, to strangers and to the people who clean your street. The London Free Alphabet is at your disposal.

“Median Solve Time: 11 min” is a puzzle embedded in a library embedded in an art gallery. Words from the exhibition’s press release have strategically been removed and dispersed around the gallery by means of an object based alphabet. The alphabet is created by arbitrary assigning objects in an acrophonic manner to the letters of the English alphabet: the first letter of the common name of an object determines what letter it represents. The visitor must decode this visual alphabet in order to read the explanatory text of the press release. The work asks the participant to cross reference the textual information of press release with the physical objects in the gallery. Thus the participant engages in an act of proliferation and editing that creates parallel idiosyncratic meanings.

I recorded hundreds of hours of video footage of myself in motion during the Summer of 2010. I chose to film from 3 points of view derived from the field of visual perception. The three viewpoints are based on diagrams of “optic flow” by Psychologist JJ Gibson who attempted to show that perception of motion is dependent on context. I’ve mixed the locations, speeds and forms of transportation, but forward motion remains a constant.

“Whistle Wall” is a series of site-specific viewer-activated sound installations. Each installation consists of a network of breath activated whistles embedded in walls and connected with tubing that sometimes spans long distances. The network takes the form of services systems typically found in an interior environments; mainly that of electricity and data. In order to activate the work, people are invited to blow into modified electrical boxes and data face plates with straws. The intimate gesture of blowing into the hole results in a whistle being sounded at a distant location. The box and whistle pairs are arranged so that the sound follows the perimeter of a room and into other spaces further afield. The sound of a whistle may lure other people to participate and complete the chain of sounds or may prompt one person to follow the trail and complete the choreographed path alone. As an individual experience, the work positions the viewer into an intimate act with the infrastructure of the wall and expands the definition of occupying space. If several people activate the work, they create a pattern of gestural communication and complete the work through collaboration.


A= apple core
B= bottle cap
C= cigarette butt
D = drinking can
E= elastic band
F= feather
G= glass
H= helicopter seed
I= ice cream stick
J= *
K= kitchen foil
L= leaf
M= matc

* indicates no item has been found to represent these characters.
N= nail
O= orange peel
P= plastic ring
Q= *
R= ring pull
S= stir stick
T= twig
U= *
V= *
W= wrapper
X= *
Y= *
Z= *