An infinite line (1km)

2017, 1 kilometre of hand cut linen thread. Photos by Document Photography.

An Infinite Line (1km) reflects upon ideas relating to the divisibility of space and matter, touching on particle physics and astronomy, Zeno’s philosophical paradoxes on infinity and Georg Cantor’s mathematical infinities.

The concept of infinite divisibility proposes that any matter can be divided into an infinite number of infinitesimal parts. To clarify this, think of dividing a line in half, then divide each of those halves in half again, and so on endlessly; the line segments become infinitely many and their size becomes infinitesimal as they move toward, but never actually reach, zero.

In the case of this artwork, the given line is 1 kilometre in length. I cut this line of thread by hand into particles as small as I could physically manage, moving toward the infinitesimal. By doing so, the kilometre is reconfigured into a small mound of tiny particles and we see an alternative perception of its monolithic scale. As its large scale is subverted, the infinite nature of the line is revealed, and we see how the small scale too can be infinite.