Not North
in collaboration with Talia Mukmel for Jerusalem Design Week 2019 – EAST

A compass is meant to show us direction. Its needle, physically oriented by ubiquitous earthly forces, points north from wherever we stand – as long as it is not distracted by momentary, stronger forces in its close vicinity. Relative to our current position, a compass indicates an external point of reference, to deduct personal relevant information therefrom.

Inspired by ancient compass objects, we propose a crafted compass. Its coming into being is influenced by ornaments and craft traditions meeting here, in the middle of east; their form directs our view. Where it points to and what patterns evolve is the result of their local anchoring, (mostly) invisible local and global forces that influence them and the personal interpretation of the viewer.

This compass consists of 186 elements, embroidered with magnetised stainless steel thread. These elements float in water, aligning themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field, pointing north. Periodically, electromagnets beneath are turned on, causing them to change their point of reference, the ensemble created through the appearing pattern.

Images above: Installation view of Not North, Jerusalem Design Week, 2019

Making Of: Magnetizing steel fibers, embroidered compass elements, wiring electromagnets beneath.

Compass element floating in water.

Not North, North.

Not North, Installation at Jerusalem Design Week 2019

Jerusalem Design Week. June 13 – 20 2019. Hansen House, Jerusalem, IL.

Irene Posch, 2023