This project proposes to trace the form a wishbone or Y shape on designated streets in lower Manhattan. Lines/markers will be made from sequentially placed small pom poms following ledges, cracks, etc. The resulting formation, if only for a few moments, will suggest both the why and wish dilemmas of the September 11th destruction of the World Trade Centers. The image references a series of letters between literary theorist Gregory Ulmer and Australian writer Linda Marie Walker concerning the ideas/implications of the common household practice of saving and dividing a wishbone.
This action/installation, somewhat invisible from street level, but large enough to be seen from the sky, gestures towards Ulmer and Walkers prolific meditations on the premises of aporia, wishing, divination and choragraphy as methods of inquiry, as means to proceed. It will scratch/outline the possibilities of a wish-monument.
Through processes of inquiry, attunement and chance operations, the time, location and size of the Y formation has been/will be enumerated. The date of the action/installation will be April 20th, 2002. The location is intentionally peripheral; at intersection of West Broadway and Hudson Streets in Tribeca with the total length extending 8 to 9 city blocks. The color of the pom poms will be predominantly orange to suggest a state of E-mergency. Though the month of April, an accompanying Website will collect wishes/questions surrounding both 9/11 event as well as the audiences own personal wishes/questions. Consistent with the wishbone tradition, where the wish must be kept secret, visitors to the website will be invited to input wish /questions online which will be encrypted by replacing letters with password-type dots. The questions will then be stored and displayed on another web page online. To determine the number of pom poms, the approximate number of casualties from the 9/11 tragedy will be added to compressed wishes/questions input into the website. The total number of pom poms collected from this process by the 20th will then determine the size of the Y and the ending place of the 'Wishing Walk.'
The project e-merges from collaboration between Will Pappenheimer and Gregory Ulmer, Josh Weihnacht, who wrote the interactive components of the website and the Florida Research Ensemble (FRE)