Conversations and Lenses
"Conversations and Lenses" is a collection of sculptures that address my experiences and observations while living and communicating with a web-cam. This work identifies the ability of digital media to shrink the globe, enabling live, face-to-face conversations across thousands of miles, while highlighting the distance between parties with its glitches and distortions. A technical struggle for me, as someone who does not enjoy electronic communication this experiment has fueled my nostalgia for analog technology, as the manifestations of my experiences blend archaic construction with observations of today. This blending of construction methods and content is intended to be analogous to the contrasting senses and emotions created in the view of the web-cam's lens. While the camera is rolling there is an awkward blurring of isolation and companionship, exhibitionism and voyeurism, of solitude and surveillance and of comfort and paranoia.
“Point of View” is the title later given to the exhibition “Conversations and Lenses”; it was an incarnation of the original idea consisting of many of the works made in the winter of 2008 in Fargo, North Dakota with a few additions of older and newer work. This exhibition broadened the scope of what I initially was concerned with while in Fargo, and in some ways has become the basis for a kind of encyclopedic study of my experiences with communication and technology. The following is the gallery statement from “Point of View”, I have included it here because with the benefit of time I feel it describes my thoughts on the work in the original show “Conversations and Lenses” with greater clarity.
"Point of View" is a collection of works that identify a perception of digital media’s ability to shrink the globe, enabling live, face-to-face conversations across thousands of miles, while highlighting the distance between parties with its glitches and distortions. This work illustrates many contradicting emotions triggered by my embrace of electronic communication via webcam. While the camera is rolling there is an awkward blurring of isolation and companionship, exhibitionism and voyeurism, of solitude and surveillance and comfort and paranoia. It is the distortions created by a connection thousands of miles long that initially fueled this work and it is the complexities of how this technology has touched many facets of life that has held my focus. It is my ambition with these sculptures to offer the audience multiple views of each work. There is an initial response to materials, shapes and textures, combined with the use of lenses, mirrors, and scale these works direct a viewer’s perspective in a way that should foster curiosity and create environments for one to project one’s self in order to conjure private narratives and individual conclusions.
This group of sculptures magnifies my hopes and fears of joining the world connected electronically. I embrace the advantages and acknowledge benefits of a world that can communicate with ease. But with these benefits comes a sense of loss; of privacy, of traditions, of things simpler, of human touch. In the studio I maintain these important parts of life in the way I construct my sculptures. It is important for me to show the blemishes and variations of an object made by hand in order to put in perspective the advancements of today and of the future.