Whether or not one chooses to interact with their peers over social media networks like Facebook or Instagram, I’ve noticed that certain pairs of friends or siblings form what seems like impenetrable cliques. Specifically, the whole purpose of joining social media sites was originally supposed to bring people closer together; in reality, it created this “either/or” dynamic. Once again I ask, “Was this technology’s fault?” It brought old friends or new colleagues together to interact, but now it’s causing a separatist dynamic.Using a variety of decorative patterns and motifs found in the history of art, I attempt to create a dialogue where each object uses a motif to symbolically reference two differing personality-types of individuals that I encounter regularly in my social networks. Note, these small-scale sculptural works do NOT refer to any specifically named individuals, but rather persevere to be more accessible, creative metaphors for this overarching behavior. Think of an overall dynamic instead of “singling” anyone out. For example, picture any two siblings (sisters or brothers) you may know. It seems that within these social media cliques one sibling is the more dominant personality and invariably controls or greatly influences the behavior – in this case, online – of whom sibling #2 feels comfortable to interact with openly on Facebook, Instagram or any new social site. In case one thinks this is only a dynamic that affects young people, students or teens, think again. We all have experienced this in our frustrating quest to consume media online. Kells Widget is a petite sculptural box, hand-fabricated in bronze – only three inches long. While it is in fact a modern-day take on a reliquary, I prefer to think of it more as a modern talisman. One is initially seduced by the brushed “sheen” of bronze metal with a pattern I hand-chased on its cover to resemble a decorative motif from the ancient Celtic illuminated manuscript, Book of Kells. However, upon opening the piece – one reveals to the viewer an unexpected screen snapshot of an hourglass I captured digitally then manipulated in software. The image shows each grain of sand moving at a snail’s pace, while in actuality, we are hemorrhaging time rapidly though our sometimes-obsessive and daily use of social media. I hope the contrast of this object’s historical front motif with the “Instagram-esque” interior image shows how time is really of the essence, and how we allow this technology to consume our personal lives. The goal hoped to achieve is to encourage individuals to think for themselves when interacting.
At present, I have several other sculptural, mixed-media pieces in the works, in addition to my new Kells Widget. I hope to be posting another blog update soon to artdoesmatter with details of these new Widget pieces that are the basis for a new body of metalwork.