Bicknaver, Britni - Universe, 2018-19, s

Universe (Installation View), The Universe In A Nutshell Audio Book, Native Audio, Pedestal, Vinyl Print, Media Player, Headphones, 2019

Bicknaver, Britni - Universe, 2018-19, T

Universe (Installation View), The Universe In A Nutshell Audio Book, Native Audio, Pedestal, Vinyl Print, Media Player, Headphones, 2019

UniverseVinyl_3.jpg

Universe (Vinyl Print), The Universe In A Nutshell Audio Book, Native Audio, Pedestal, Vinyl Print, Media Player, Headphones, 2019

Universe (Audio Track), The Universe In A Nutshell Audio Book, Native Audio, Pedestal, Vinyl Print, Media Player, Headphones, 2019

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Universe uses marginalia in the unlikely context of an audio book, The Universe in a Nutshell by

Stephen Hawking (2001), by sonically recording the actions of the artist as she listens to the

source text. Just as a borrowed book from the library has evidence of its previous readers, this

audible example of marginalia magnifies the experience, as we hear the intimate actions of

Bicknaver engaging with the text before us.

Playing upon the title and content of the source text, Universe juxtaposes the sublime universe

of Stephen Hawking to the mundane everyday “universe” of the artist. Bicknaver’s coughs,

quips, and sighs intermingle with the diegetic sounds of the artist’s apartment in contrast with

Hawking’s explanation of our stunningly amazing universe, reinforcing the banal divergence of

the human experience with the unfathomable existence of everything. A subtle play for power is

evoked between “the read” and “reader” as we hear the artist engage with the universe depicted

in the book, and disengage into her own mundane everyday universe, forcing the text into the

margins of quotidian life.