Artist’s Statement

When I was building my portfolio site for the B.F.A. program application back in October, I had to write my first full Artist’s Statement. I meant to post it here for posterity, but the application deadline and midterms thwarted me.

I’m posting it here, because I feel it’s important to document it on this blog. Obviously, it’s going to change a lot over the coming years, so documenting it is important and useful.

People are losing touch.

Somewhere along the way we got too comfortable. We started letting our connections to each other fall into disArray[]. We shut ourselves off from the mysteries of life. We counted our relationships as disposible. We forgot our dreams.

And while technology does play a role in our ongoing disConnect(), it would be foolish and naïve to place all the blame at the feet of our tools- artifacts of our own design and industry.

A dear friend of mine, while coping with a deep personal loss, wrote an essay on her blog called “Cultivating Defiance.” She wrote how our lives are shaped not as much by the big, dramatic moments, but by the quiet moments in between. She closed by challenging her readers- and herself- to find meaning at all costs and let go of the past by saying, “The time is now. What are you doing?”

People living in Ancient Greece, or in the Renaissance, or even just a century ago, would look at the technology we have today and the things we can do with it and say that we’re living in an age of Wonder. But we barely even notice. Is it because modern medicine and the Internet have become so commonplace? Partially, sure. But I think we’ve also forgotten what Wonder feels like in the first place. That somewhat frightening, yet wholly liberating feeling we get in the pits of our stomachs that makes the world seem really big, other people seem really incredible, and ourselves seem really important.

That’s what I want to change with my art.

I want to use art, code, games, new media, responsive environments, and augmented reality to help people rediscover that sense of Wonder. I want to write code that can teach. I want to use the Internet to tear down the barriers we build between ourselves and our friends. I want people to really interact with music- to walk into a room and touch their favorite song the same way it touched them. I want to use AR overlays of the streets people walk everyday to think differently about their world. I want to make a game that not only makes the player cry, but makes them angry, and hopeful, and drives them to affect change in this world too.

I want to open doors, and build bridges. I want to create new worlds, and secret worlds, and let other people make their own.

I want people to see just how amazing the world really is.

And I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know if art really can change the world (though I’m pretty sure it has), and I don’t know if games can make people feel (though I think they can), and I don’t know if we can turn the tide of Internet culture to make it a place of personal connection again (though I do have hope). But it’s something I need to try- it’s something we all need to try.

The time is now. What are you doing?

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