Reinventing the Wheel

Posted on May 26, 2016

There is nothing new about fondling a hand-held technological device, except perhaps how much time we devote to it. My new series is based on found advertising images from the middle of the last century. After looking at these pictures, some of them just tiny spot ads tucked into the back pages of magazines, it became apparent to me that we have been trained to lovingly cradle rounded rectangles in the palms of our hands for a while now. Or are we finally just imitating these ads after having been exposed to them for generations, in a hundredth-monkey kind of way?

The tondo (“circle” to the uninitiated) has traditionally been the format of choice for depicting an otherworldly setting. According to Rudolf Arnheim, this is because it lacks the vertical and horizontal references to gravity and the horizon that a rectangle constantly reminds you of. People starting into their phones are, in an obvious way, referring to a reality other than the immediate physical one in which they’re standing (or walking or driving, yikes). But these devices also frame, quantify, mediate, and otherwise tame the unruly physical world that we live in: light, sound, one’s own body, and, most unruly of all, interactions with other humans.
Walk While You Talk

I will have a few pieces from the series on view at my open studio on Thursday, June 2. The other artists of  ’57 Biscayne will open their studios as well. Featured in the hallway gallery will be the annual 100 under $100 show, one hundred works of art priced under $100 each, by about 30 different artists, curated by Dara Solliday and myself.

6-10 PM at ’57 Biscayne, 110 Cherry Street on the second floor. With live music by Victor Janusz.

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