OBJECT :: object
†b. The presentation of something to the eye or perception.
a. A goal, purpose, or aim; the end to which effort is directed; the thing sought, aimed at, or striven for.
5. Philos. A thing which is perceived, thought of, known, etc.; spec. a thing which is external to or distinct from the apprehending mind, subject, or self.
7. Computing. A distinct (or discrete) entity, as (a) a package of information (as a data structure definition) together with a description of its manipulation
9. Something put in the way; an interruption or obstruction; an obstacle, a hindrance.
I. To oppose or disapprove.
8. trans. To expose (a person) to or against danger, evil, etc.
a. To put or place (a person or thing) so that it abuts, meets, or intercepts something, or so that it is exposed or subjected to a material object, physical phenomenon, etc.
When asked what place my project holds through the narrative of evolution, I am reminded of something I recently read in a Jean Baudrillard book:
“(Man) is the absolute horizon of evolution, since he is the destroyer of the cycle.”
In evolution, new design blossoms and extinguishes the obsolete; evolution occurs through creation and destruction. My Blue Rabbit work attempts to do both (to create/and destruct) simultaneously.
Through the creation [part of me prefers the word “assembly”] of a simple accessory, I hope to participate in a process of de(con)struction. As an artist working in response to surveillance, I am looking to loosen (or entirely disband):
fixed notions of identity
our burgeoning police-state
the racialization of suspicion
our increasing inability to access that which is collected from us/about us. (meta-data, communication details, biometric information)
Destruction, or the re-working of the “legible” visage is a potent method of engagement with surveillance, as it moves to shift the existing relationship between self and state/private power.
My original vision was to develop a series of wearables, operating within the theme of radical camouflage. Once I began prototyping, I realized the time required to “make” (model, print, assemble, test, re-design, ad infinitum) mandated that I constrain my idea to a single design.
The design I chose to explore is one that addresses the lived experience of code-switching.
Code-switching is a process of adapting oneself (typically through manner of speech) according to one’s environment. Those who must adapt most often and most discretely are those who inhabit the margins of the dominant culture (race, class, sexuality, and gender all play important roles in this). Code-switching is about safety and survival.
Extrapolating this process into a functional art object:
In a non-threatening environment, my object can be worn around the neck.
In a suspect environment (one in which a person feels they need to hide), the object can be adjusted and worn over the face obscuring the brow and rendering the wearer “unreadable”.
I wanted this transition, this response to a shift from SAFE to SUSPECT, to be enacted through a singular gesture.
The future of my object lies in a further exploration of the themes of surveillance, intimacy, gesture and intervention.
– I want to probe the surfaces and experience of “that gesture” (the swift move from suspicion to protection). I want to distil it into an acute study of a single motion (an arm reaching from chest to brow), and sift out what affective meanings it holds.
– I have been trying to sort out how to “make contact” with my data double. How can she speak alone and how can we speak together? What sort of relationship do we/can we have?
– I want to continue making radical camouflage, focusing on designs that can “pass” in variant situations without calling attention to the wearer. I intend to introduce different mediums into this work, including textiles, metalwork, and language arts.
I believe the fate of my object is less important than what paths of inquiry have branched out from it.
x= 150 mm
y= 130 mm
z= 2 mm