The Plan





Wood, metals, electronics, computer
Size of the wooden map board 300x300cm
1993.

 

Collection of Wihuri Foundation

The Plan is based on Umberto Eco’s novel Foucault’s Pendulum. The work is a decryption machine for converting a map code into textual form. It consists of two elements: firstly a map made by Robert Fludd in 1615, engraved on a 10-foot square board on which rotates an old-fashioned assembly of levers, and secondly a modern computerized set-up. The raised edges of the continents on the wooden map lift the levers of the machinery, and information on their binary state is transmitted to the computer by electronic means. Each lever corresponds to one character appearing on the computer monitor each time a lever is raised. The text generated by this is printed out in hard copy after which the order of characters corresponding to the levers is randomized for the next run. The machine is capable of generating more than five billion variants of the text, any one of which may be the “truth” - the solution for the secret in Eco’s book.