This article is taken from Stand 228, 18(4) December 2020 - February 2021.

Mark Reece The Cosmic Jigsaw
After going through the procedure for immortality, I became very bored. I spent decades on trivialities that were only a way to pass the time: learning the succession of monarchs, presidents, and emperors around the world, counting the bobbles on the wallpaper in my room, watching YouTube videos. The lengths I went to avoid thought were incredible.

Eventually, I conceived the idea of creating a jigsaw puzzle of the earth. Categorisation creates understanding. I’ve always loved puzzles, but before that project the biggest I’d set my mind to was two thousand pieces. I hired a warehouse and got rid of everything inside. The vast open space was intimidating when I stood in the middle of it. With enough time, it was easy to gather good quality materials for the pieces, although I’m embarrassed to say that I lost count half way through and couldn’t be bothered to restart, meaning that I don’t know how many there were. A lot, in short.

I used the optimum strategy, which is to start by turning all the pieces the right way. That way, one can work outwards from the most distinct colours. While doing so, I not only had time to listen to my favourite music, but a good proportion of all music. An interesting idea for my next project would be to create an audial puzzle. I’m not quite sure how that would work – whether I could create images based on sounds, or somehow transform sound into a manipulatable substance. I was so taken by the possibilities that I almost abandoned the pieces, before having words ...
Searching, please wait... animated waiting image