Chris Maddox's “≠” (spoken Antiparallel) investigates shifts of meaning that occur when prose is translated. This study is built from two versions of The Garden of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges: a version translated by Borges’ close creative partner Norman Thomas di Giovanni, and the recent Penguin Classics release, translated by Andrew Hurley. His works extract and recombine text fragments from these translations in ways that generate embodiments of the concepts embedded within the writing.
A central theme, evident even in the title of the story, is the notion that one might imagine a multiplicity of personal existences, each of which expresses a choice made in life that triggered a sequence of events and a particular existence–parallel but unique realities. Such paradoxical antiparallels are mirrored in the text-based works of the project.
Chance, instinct, fortune, regret, escape, and death are themes the exhibition folds together into an exposition on choice and outcome. Antiparallel explores how paths not taken may linger in the mind and form into persisting and mutating fantasies, ruminations, or narratives of desire and conquest. It explores the possibility that dreams are constructed entirely from the vapors of roads not taken.