Since the late 1970s, Jenny Holzer has used language and many forms of address to examine society, beliefs, and the spaces in which an individual finds herself. From anonymous street posters to electronic signs, from stone benches to light projections, Holzer's materials suggest a landscape spilling over with connotations, information, propaganda and politics. Her texts—thirteen series written from 1977 to 2001—place the individual in that teeming landscape with language that speaks to the commonality of love, disaster, death, optimism, fear and desire.
Sensibility is a barrage of language and light featuring texts from Holzer's Survival series (1983-85). The blast of text shines the urgency in the sentences recited. The neutral black and white motif belies the variety of themes addressed and the voices called in to represent the heterogeneity of subjects. Survival is a cautionary text where each sentence instructs, informs, or questions the ways an individual responds to her political, social, physical and psychological environments. The Survival texts were the first to be written especially for LED signs; the sentences are short and pointed so as to be easily available to passersby. "PROTECT ME FROM WHAT I WANT" is a key text from the series.