Work of the Week: Serena Zhang

Posted on September 18, 2020

Serena Zhang
“Nails” Assortment
Video, 23 Seconds

To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

As a proverb, it refers to that, with limited tools, single-minded people apply them inappropriately or indiscriminately.*

However, inspired by the current topic “Mistake”, I wondered: how do we define “inappropriately” and “indiscriminately”? And how could we determine that “applying the hammer inappropriately or indiscriminately” is a mistake?

In this work, I deliberately take the literal meaning of this proverb. If everything looks like a nail to a hammer, then it means that there could be millions of possibilities for the hammer to create.

If everything looks like a nail to a hammer, then a piece of paper and a folder in Mac could also look like nails. Through this video of “Nails” Assortment, I want to demonstrate an unexpected outcome of nailing the paper using hammer.

I want to show that nothing is absolutely a “mistake”. In fact, when we think that we are making a commonly regarded “mistake”, it might mean that we are jumping out of the box and thinking differently from others, and we might step closer to an unexpected surprise.

*Definition of the proverb from here.