Dianne Kornberg, Elisabeth Frost
Arachne
one of five pigmented ink prints
(edition of 15)
35" x 24"
Click here to see text integrated into
actual work
                                                                  COLLABORATIVE STATEMENT
                                                        Artist Dianne Kornberg and Poet Elisabeth Frost

Our project was to allude to the style and conventions of collection and preservation, which have occupied
Kornberg in her recent work and which dovetailed with Frost’s interests in specialized language (and shifts in
register) in poetry. We chose to work with webs as specimens, like those in a herbarium, suggesting a ‘mortal
remains’ that carries abstract and embodied meaning. Hence the devices employed were: photographed
(captured) web drawings, hand-inked text, penciled notations, red-bordered labels, a surface that
‘impersonates’ specimen paper with stains and imperfections. Likewise, the text reflects descriptive
taxonomy that is part of a preserved specimen, including genus, species, measurements, and Latin
terminology. With such tools we sought to represent a web as a suggestive trace – from the ‘ballooning’ that
launches spiderlings into new habitats via their own silk threads [0001] to the web’s role in consumption of
prey [0003] and conservation of energy, since webs also double as food [0004].

As we included these researched details, the images became more abstracted and fragmentary, the text
more open and ambiguous. In crafting a work that explores text and image as integral to one another, we
opted for diptychs, in which each pairing creates multiple dialogues: between hand-writing as scientific
notation and as poetic/lyric phrase; between hand-writing as trace (partially erased) and the web as
visual/glyphic trace; and between scientific and lyric ways of understanding the phenomenon before us –
including [in 0005], the myth of Arachne, whose acts of creation our work also honors.