Participatory sand installation asks visitors to erase history

What Makes Us Humans? Vol. 2: A migration pattern
All images by Eli Cornejo.
Sand installation – ca. 230x130cm / 91x51in

A typographic sand installation that impedes the access to the main viewing room was placed at the entrance of a gallery. Placed in a doorway, the floor-bound work titled ‘The Only Way To Walk Forward Is To Erase Your Own History’ addresses the subject of human migration and intends to expand upon its traditional definitions. The installation is based off the idea of how humans move, in the sense of migration, and its later impact in human culture. Are we moving back to a common understanding or are we, on the contrary, moving forward to a fragmented culture divided into smaller common interests? Are we a particular group of people at a particular moment of time, or are we all writing the same book? what should interest the humankind? Is multiculturalism a mono-culture?

Visitors try to take alternative paths around the installation

Visitors activate the sand installation by walking over it, in turn, completely augmenting its original appearance and deleting its typographic message. True to its written text, the only way for visitors to move forward is to erase the original content of the piece.

The work forms part of the artist’s ‘What Makes Us Humans?’ project — an ongoing study of human meaning through the search for a wider perception of our context. ‘[the project] pretends to expand the comprehension outside the human understanding. It suspects a different set of laws, if any, where everything is interconnected in a holistic shape. Although it rejects the common categorization of things, it also accepts the idea that everything is shaped by a bigger pattern, a unique category, maybe even a mathematical one, where human actions are also taken as mathematical powers. Its aim is to understand the upcoming paradigm (Thomas Kuhn) in order to understand better the human future.’

Others are motivated to interact with piece
Many visitors remain undecided as to whether they should step on the installation or not
The artwork addresses the subject of human migration
Visitors enjoy walking over the sand
The installation makes the traffic to the gallery slower, or not
The remnants of the statement after participation by visitors
The erasing of history
The sand installation was placed at the entrance of the gallery