I’m talking about our phones, tablets and computers when I speak of the “ubiquitous screen”. These devices live with us now. We are rarely apart from them, perhaps only when we bathe and sleep and even then perhaps only when we sleep, because we can still use devices in a bath for example. My work is a complete and intentional rejection of this non-material objecthood that screens present. A screen reduces or at least changes the surface of everything it encounters. Nothing ever breaks the wall between screen and what the screen presents. The cat doesn’t reach out of the meme and scratch you; the beach doesn’t splash water on your lap; the angry journalist doesn’t shove you; the images, language, ideas, everything in and on these devices is delegated through this ubiquitous flat screen. My work buckles and is sewn together; it is extremely “objecty” and asymmetrical. It rejects even the tradition of the stretched and squared edges of what we would call a classical painting. This is on purpose: I want my work to present images that are from the screens we live on and then I want to bring them to life, to resurrect them, to say “No, we cannot walk past these images day after day.” These images are real and tragic stories, not to be discarded. The screen affords this false-luxury, this amoralization of what is going on in the world. I assert that this is a deeply corrupting aspect of our devices and not unintentional by the powers that be. We are, as I often say, walking around with our televisions now, drugged up, utterly desensitized, uncaring, and most importantly inert, stagnant and ultimately obedient; the screen flattens everything, not just literally but morally, it erases morality. I want my work to reject that completely, to bring all of these very real tragedies that don’t have to be back to life, misshapen, problematic and to revert the mind into caring, thinking and feeling. We are intoxicated with the documentary style, but its flatness and its bluntness has, rather than as you’d expect, not elevated us; it has stunted us, made our souls impenetrable. We can “see it all now”, so perhaps now we don’t have to care as much. This is, of course, a huge generalization when it comes to documentary style in particular and I think ultimately it does more good than bad. This began in its most vivid American contemporary form with the video of Rodney King being beaten and then again 29 years later with George Floyd, ending even more tragically. Thirty years of flat screens and are we feeling more then? Have we evolved?
The ubiquitous flat-screen in our pockets has both liberated us and allowed us to be corrupted even further. Do you remember a time when children gunned each other down in school? When that happened so frequently it met a news cycle that would last for a mere two, perhaps three days, if, sickeningly, enough children died and then be gone? Do you remember a world that openly allowed itself to commit group suicide for the luxury of buying more plastic crap? Do you remember a world where foreign policy was so openly corrupt? We live in complex times, with so much progress, sadly however, we are flushing ourselves down the toilet at the same time. As you can see I'm not an optimist, simply because I don't have the patience for human moodiness when it comes to solving the very real problems we face. With all the suffering in the world, the last thing that is needed is another optimistic "first world" shopper drowning themselves in plastic lies neatly delivered to their doorsteps. I have no interest in being kind about this grand failure we've committed ourselves to, nor of accepting it. That corruption - of the soul - is specifically what the flat screen represents to me.