The torrent of information we receive daily from our phones, tablets and computers washes away the few private moments we have to ourself. Deluge is an interactive installation that uses light, sound and flowers to replicate the sensory overload we experience from being constantly connected to each other.
Deluge’s soft light pulsing among a hulking bouquet of silk yellow daffodils seen through the large street facing windows in the Lawrence Arts Center’s front gallery entice passersby to enter. The barrier of the storefront window glamorizes the silk daffodils, also called narcissus, but just like the images under the glass on a smartphone everything is not as it seems. Upon entering the gallery the fantasy is broken. The viewer is inundated by the artificial fragrance of daffodils, down feathers swirl underfoot, iridescent walls and a low rumble. Deluge is the embodiment of “too much of a good thing” overwhelming the viewer with a profusion of pleasant sensations. The over saturation of stimuli breaks down communication between the viewers, isolating each person in a public space. Social media has many great advantages such as dissemination of information but all that information can make one feel left out rather than empowered. We have become a generation of voyeurs cutting ourselves off with the technology meant to bring us together. Deluge exposes social media as a fantasy, urging viewers to make intimate personal relationships by interacting with each other face to face.
The world’s artwork is being hidden away from view. Stored in dark climate controlled rooms. Art collections are increasingly becoming investment funding. This changes art from an object of inspiration and beauty to something resembling a gold ingot.
Shades parodies art-as-bullion by not displaying any of the art in the exhibition. As the muffled sound of a cattle auctioneer can be heard a large pile of lamps shades illuminate the gallery walls and the white slightly raised lettering “Shades.” The low light obscures the space casting shadows the selected artworks. The light will not help much to see because each artwork are covered by a packing blanket. The artwork may not be seen but it can be felt. Literally, the gallery goers are encouraged to feel the art through the blankets. Is it a thrift store velvet painting of Elvis or a Monet? Could is be a common flower pot or Ming vase? The artworks identity has been hidden just like countless masterpieces.
Artworks’ value comes from its ability to invoke thought and emotion. This intrinsic value is being replaced by monetary value, meaning the greatest works of art are only on view for large shows to increase the artwork’s fame and pricetag. As the art world becomes more interested in name brand artists it is important for collectors to buy lesser known artist, and organizations to exhibiting art that subverts its own sale, as well as create free public spaces for viewing art.
We have all laid awake at night worrying about our individual impact on global warming, only to arise the next morning to drive to work. It’s hard to change your wicked ways when they put food on your table and clothes on your back. Adaptive capacity is the amount of stress an ecosystem can take before it fails. This is made tangible in Adaptive Capacity by having the viewer place small houses made of salt on top of an ice block. It is quite exciting to watch the tiny little houses sink into the slab of ice. Below the ice block is a regular water cooler, one you may find in any office building. The viewer is able to drink the melting ice from the water cooler. As more houses are placed on top of the ice block, the water eventually becomes too salty to drink, a fact that is painfully obvious to the viewer. The houses represent the difficulty of breaking away from this deadly cycle due to our need for shelter and transit. Adaptive Capacity satirizes polluting the environment in order to maintain a comfort level that cannot be sustained. This irony is mirrored in Adaptive Capacity by using a diminishing block of ice as a commentary on overheating. Adaptive Capacity questions whether small individual acts can reverse the events already set in motion or if more dramatic restrictions must be forced upon us all to roll back the damage.
Plz! Despoil My Art
Plz! Despoil My Art encourages the viewer to destroy my art. The viewer must choose between a memory or a reminder.
Plz! Despoil My Art
Plz! Despoil My Art - Interactive Portrait
Social media has taken the self-portrait and made it profuse, renaming it the “Selfie.” In jest the #Helpie turns the “selfie” into a partnership lampooning social media platforms’ ability to make communities more connected while isolating the individual. In order to take a “selfie,” #Helpie requires someone else to crank a generator located across the room from a photo of a landscape that lights up for the portrait taker to stand in front of. The entire act is made pointless because the landscape is the easily accessed view near the #Helpie. #Helpie uses analogue devices to support digital technological habits as an allegory that it is another’s individual attention that fosters a connection whether in person, though a letter, or over the web.
Eleven Dimensions of Faith
String Theory and religion both rely on faith. String Theory has blurred the line between faith and science while still criticizing religion for its lack of testable results. Eleven Dimensions of Faith references experiments conducted with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) meant to detect dark matter by testing the decay of the Higgs boson, also known as the “God particle.” Deriving its name from the eleven dimensions a string supposedly occupies, Eleven Dimensions of Faith mimics the indirectness of the LHC testing by hanging a painting of a string so that it faces toward the ceiling. The painting is only viewable through a series of mirrors. Looking through the periscope the viewer is unable to clearly see the whole painting. The viewer is left to speculate as to what the entire painting looks like. A mystery is followed by the joy of solving it. After a private viewing of the painting through the periscope the viewer looks to see how the series of mirrors works. Even though the viewer is sure as to what the painting looks like he must still rely on faith because he has never directly seen the painting. Eleven Dimensions of Faith questions the perception of reality with an untestable belief, calling attention to String Theory’s reliance on unprovable math while hypocritically criticizes religion for its unverifiable convictions. Eleven Dimensions of Faith shows that faith in either the universe or a deity, “Divine” is the belief in something greater than oneself.
I placed two hundred free paintings across Kansas City, wrapped and ready to hang, for passersby to find. These paintings were left at public meeting spaces. Once a painting was found, a note on the back will ask the finder to send a picture of their new painting, hanging in their home to me via email.