Elliptical text forms the backbone of my conceptual practice. Often, the chosen phrase or allusion is the result of a continuous language game that seeks to devise idiosyncratic meanings from stranded words; new combinations yielding even more information than their sampled origins. Electrifying neon gas trapped in manipulated glass volumes to express these invocations creates circuitous works that seem to appear even as they are falling apart.
We exist in an endless feedback loop of posts, memes, networked references, and associative signifiers with no central tether except the expressions themselves. Capturing these sensations in a medium as unstable as their source instantly communicates the adrenal idea of "feeling some type of way." It's a method of transmuting our digital musings back into the handwritten form from which they came through analog alchemy. Chimerical neon tweets existing as long as the elements can support them. Or the servers continue to function.
In itself, the medium of neon is the forebear of the device's screen you are reading this on. Since its first discovery, neon has been instrumental in the development of: high-voltage indicators, helium-neon lasers and most importantly, the television tube. It is my belief, concurrent with its inherent property of implied expression, that neon technology gave rise to the idea of presenting illuminated information behind a glass barrier.
So that, without this seemingly archaic process and the distant cliffs it helped expose, we wouldn't have developed the display-dependent, digitally immersed culture we exist in. Indeed, we would not be reading this on a monitor, laptop, tablet or iPhone. And we certainly wouldn't have the ability to render our thoughts in such impactful, yet entropic ways across the social media ecosystem.
If IDOL THREAT was a way to make the real digital, then MMXIV is the inverse. It’s an attempt to establish posthuman identity in a civilization of spectacle defined by fear, doubt and isolation beset by the search for meaning. Always unsure what to do with it. Except to take a selfie.
MMXIV opens at Vermillion on January 9, 2014.