When Daniel Silvo first send me Square, I thought he forgot the attachment. The e-mail seemed very much empty. Then I double clicked on the space in the e-mail; it opened; and it looked like an empty document. It took me several conceptual steps and moments of exciting discovery to see what exactly he had made and send me. I loved that journey — if you wat to experience it for yourself stop reading now and click buy and download and explore the file.
But since we’re asking for money for this edition I think it would be unfair to not tell you exacty what you will be getting: SQUARE is a single page PDF that appears to be empty. The PDF is a standard A4 size, not square. It does contain text, but that only becomes visible after you copy it into another application. The selection of the text looks like a rough square. The text when you paste it reads “a regular quadrilateral with four equal sides and four right angles”. Which is another way to write square. So what is the “true” square, from the title?
SQUARE is inspired by Malevich’s white square. But what is a digital white square on a white screen? Digital images are just bits, instructions, descriptions. The work is the first conceptual edition on the File Arts, addressing notions on representation and description and communication: the text in Daniel’s work is a description of a square, to be translated by the viewer in his imagination. But at the same time the work is very visual, if you know, or discover, where to look. I’ve spoiled that discovery mostly in the animated gif above, but I don’t think that affects the value or attractiveness of the work. There is a lot to ponder on communication, shape, descriptions, representation and code after you’ve found out all about the content of this empty rectangular document called SQUARE.