Next Monday, Halloween, I will be having my critique for my second project in CORE studio class. This new piece is a step closer to my December show - Thesis Preview - and I'm now beginning to get knee deep in the concept. I'm thinking a lot about how people interact with art and how we live in a world where everything is vying for our attention.
I've spent about 40 hours working on a painting. That's a really really long time for me to work on one piece. I already know the work will be met with controversy just based on how my last work(s) utilizing the QR codes went over. Some people loved it, and some didn't. Perfect.
This new work is my attempt to orchestrate an interaction with a piece of artwork, the physical push and pull tension that any object may create.
Let me back up a second and explain something about me. I'm a very tactile person. I touch everything. It is very hard for me to walk through a department store and not want to experience the way something feels on my fingertips. (once on a field trip to the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, I ran my hand along ancient hieroglyphics - let's just say THAT situation didn't end well...alarms, guards, etc)
This tactile nature of mine may be one of the reasons that I like working with ceramics; engaging my fingers in a way that is natural for me. Eyes open or closed, my fingers can see for me. I always touch the braille bumps whenever I see them - this is something that fascinates me - sight-impaired people can read with their fingertips.
My newest work is about how we 'look' at art. Some people stand many feet away, while many other (myself included) will walk right up to a work and inspect it visually. I want to see the brush strokes or how it was constructed. There are not many situations where I can 'see' with my hands.
My exploration of the QR codes continues with this painting, which to me isn't a painting but an installation. I want the viewer to come closer, 'see' how I want you to see and abandon your need for information on how you should interpret the work.
However, once you have seen what I want you to see, you - as a borg-like device-driven viewer you must walk away, out of the tactile sensory zone to pull out your smartphone and scan the work with your new eye, the device scanner, and 'see' in the way that our culture is heading. On a small screen in your hands.
But, please, first come close and touch the artwork. It's ok.
I promise, alarms will not sound.