Sometimes, I just start seeing things. Not made-up things, but things that are actually there and have always been there, but have escaped my attention in the constant avalanche of sensory information. On my recent trip to Germany and France, I started paying attention to numbers, and when I did, they turned up everywhere: in a particle accelerator, in a forest, on a house wall.
Numbers are symbols, carrying information. That’s not the only reason why I got so interested in them, though – it’s also about figuring out the use of it in that particular place, whether it’s been specifically designed to fit in with its environment, if it’s mass produced but still unique to its use, or if it’s truly unique and handwritten.
Does it matter which number it is? I don’t know. The fascination is not entirely clear to me, but part of it is certainly the act of removing the number from its environment and giving it attention.
Do you have a favourite number?
7. Place: HERA particle accelerator in Hamburg, Germany.
32. Place: On a tree on the slope of a mountain in the Jura mountain range.
7. Place: House wall in Dardagny, Geneva, Switzerland.
4. Place: Just outside Lüneburg Heath nature reserve, Germany.
1. Place: HERA particle accelerator in Hamburg, Germany.