Rolodex was presented as a part of a larger installation at the Between Mess and Order exhibition at The Point of Order, Johannesburg in August 2015. The exhibition looked at the generative possibilities of ‘mess’ in institutions of order. The tension between mess and order is one that is employed as a productive strategy of display.


This custom made Rolodex holds the written pages of my Masters in Fine Arts dissertation. The object, containing the written thesis on individual cards acted as my full submission.


The research speaks to the politics of encounter, examining ways in which the forms that structure and categorise information come to inform our reception and experience of that knowledge. Thus, the form that contains my thesis becomes another tool for demonstrating the concepts being evoked in the content therein.   


The Rolodex does not ‘stand in’ for an exhibition, nor is it an overly-designed binding mechanism for my written thesis, the object presents a proposition; what if the argument made by the written text and the practical work can be augmented in one form?


The Rolodex; a rotating index cardholder, is an iconic piece of office stationary, ubiquitous on office desks from the 1950’s -70’s. Its predecessor, the address book, became unwieldy in an ever quickening and messy, changing world.

The Rolodex presents a solution to this ‘mess’. It creates a system whereby cards can be removed and added; the innovation of the Rolodex was that it was not bound, it was not a finite object, with a finite amount of pages and lines dedicated to each letter of the alphabet.

There is something within the not-yet-classified that holds within it infinite possible meanings and permutations. This is what, for me, is exciting about the form of the Rolodex. Thus, in approaching institutions, structures, systems etc, in which some disorder occurs, there should be cause for excitement, at the possibility of dissent, interruption, intervention, reconfiguration, reordering and reconstituting this disorder allows.

2015, The Point of Order, Johannesburg

Bright mild steel, wood and paper

500mm x 400mm x 300mm