16mm, color & b/w, silent, 12:00, 2012
A Thousand Sentences is derived from the work of Caleb Gattegno (1911-1988), an Egyptian-born mathematician and educator who pioneered a systematic and synaesthetic method for teaching foreign languages and arithmetic. The film begins with Perlin's hand-painted animated color fields, each corresponding to a vowel or consonant sound of the English language, as developed by Gattegno. The second part of the film, in black and white, animates an excerpt from Gattegno's 1974 book 'A Thousand Sentences.' The book was written to function as a primer for English learners to practice reading simple texts, yet in its selection of phrases, all written by Gattegno, it also represents the author's philosophical tract and worldview. Gattegno's work represents a belief that the world can be learned solely through experience and intuition. A combination of the esoteric and the systematic; his writings suggest that all things are interconnected but are not distant from us; they are already known and can be systematically unpacked and interpreted.