I continue to grapple with identity in the digital age. What happens to all of those selfies that we snap and upload all over the place? I can't access my data history on my iPhone 4 and that was less than 10 years ago. But woe to the teenagers of today, who are destined to revisit a public image record beyond their control.
Like a radio receiver, our mind picks up certain frequencies by design -- a subset of reality, based on the architecture of our senses and how we are tuned. I like to listen to a lot of different stations, especially the ones that are faint, vibrating on the edge of perception. This mask is part of my Human Electric series. It's designed after an actual circuit using a 555 timer, some simple RC circuits, a transistor, and an antenna. If you're wondering why my construction technique is primitive, there's a reason: imagine the future of our civilization if the grid were to collapse. My masks are designed to symbolize electronic identity in a post-apocalyptic world.
"I'm on a Chip in the Clouds," 2017. Watercolor and acrylic on joined paper. 31" x 37"
Here's the story of how this crazy painting came to be. It was a rainy day, and so I started in my studio with a self-portrait in which I appeared to be daydreaming --hence the colors and thoughts around my head. At some point, the sun came out. I prefer to paint in the beautiful landscape that surrounds my home... so I joined additional paper to my canvas and went outside. Lost in my thoughts and distracted by my computer, I wasn't really present in the landscape. So I encapsulated myself on a computer chip that is floating in the clouds. And now, after all, my artwork has become a digital image file that I upload to the cloud.
The weather has been rainy lately, so I'm working in my studio on my Human Electric series -- exploring identity in the digital age. I'm applying for a Guggenheim fellowship to support this work, so fingers crossed that it will come through (!)