Date of Submission

Spring 2014

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Studio Arts

Project Advisor 1

Jeffrey Gibson

Project Advisor 2

Medrie MacPhee

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Through stacked readymade object sculptures and a series of looped atmospheric videos, the installation exaggerates society’s irrational fears about “millennials”. Blanketed as an unmotivated generation reliant on technology, millennials seem doomed to dead end jobs, addicted to quick fixes and cheap thrills. Deconstructing this notion, I separated the complications of my generation’s relationship to technology into two mental categories: hyper and chill.

I set out to conceptually explore the implications of our society’s partial rather than total immersion in a virtual reality. How does an inescapable physical awareness of actual reality interact with an intermittent digital persona? How can one accept an imperfect physical reality when offered escape through a curated virtual existence? I posited that the stereotypical millennial would value perfection in the digital and total comfort in the physical; thus, the division between hyper and chill or escape and acceptance.

I wanted objects that reference these two forms of existence to alternately compete with and rely on each other. Office environments and nightclubs (spaces where the self is physically performed) became symbolic of an acceptance of actual reality. Office furniture, a disco ball, VJ-style looped videos, a sitcom laugh track, rolled carpet, and blue light materially invoke the anxiety of public spaces. Spa imagery, comfort objects, and “health” products evoke escape, leisure and laziness. Fake plants, bottled water, an ab cruncher, a “boyfriend” pillow, glass block and fish tanks become objects that soothe the experience of actual reality.

When these objects of distraction interact, it exposes the alien artificiality of both realms of existence. Blue Gatorade appears hilariously fluorescent rather than healthful, purposeful manila folders (when opened) contain meaningless stock photos. Through layered and stacked objects I reveal my disillusionment with negotiating the social grey area between actual and virtual reality.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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