"All of this science means nothing," Friedberg asserts. Recalling art historian Erie Loran's diagrams rationalizing Paul Cezanne's compositions (a body of scholarship that was fundamental to Friedberg's study of art history), Friedberg's numbers and lines suggest a concrete explanation of content. Because no stable meaning can be derived from her combination of dislocated photographic fragments and rationalizing inscriptions, however, the viewer is confronted by a kind of failed science.
Likewise, through its punning title, Sam Contemplating the Box of Homer evokes a counter-Aristotelian world in which laws of balance and logic are subverted in favor of irrational pictorial invention. Logic dictates that the linear element on which the two Sams are poised should be thrown into a state of unbalance, one figure (with its yellow box) outweighing its twin. However, Friedberg poses the possibility that physical laws are suspended in the space of the imagination. In this regard, the black encaustic surround, with its green orb appearing in the lower right, operates as a para-universe in which the two Sams (photographs taken by Friedberg of her brother-in-law) and the geometric structure that supports them, are poised in a space of indeterminacy. Rather than negotiating a rationalizing space, Friedberg's grid underscores the perfidiousness of mapping. In her rigorous and poetic images meaning is short circuited.