There are a lot of things coming together here. Danger is death viewed from the orthogonal. A warning sign is a speck, a particle nibbled from danger’s plane. Warning labels are thus nugatory, they should almost be written in invisible ink in order to match materiality of their connection to mortal affairs. Spatially they stand off from mortal affairs, waving and shouting from a remove, no more able to intercede in a fatefull collision than highway litter. Yet they shout in orange and black, blocking out the light of what might be the graceful design of what they are slathered over, could we but see through them.
They construe a fabulous record of mishap, cautionary tales that bequest a feeling: here but for the grace of God go I–which bears a fragrant blossom of schadenfreud and its contentment. They also afford an opportunity to count blessings–why how lucky I am to stand in this non-collapsing cathedral! Of what great service these messages are even at the cost of their obfuscation of what they hide, which is the completeness of the cathedral, its ability to stand without our wishing it to. How necessary these label make us, as we turn their gears and apply their leverage to hold all that imaginary masonry on high for a just moment longer.