In January 2016 fifteen UWE Art and Design students were selected from Graphic Art disciplines to contribute to an international student exchange exhibition with Maryland Institute College of Art, (MICA) Baltimore USA. The exchange exhibition was developed as part of a touring exhibition (of US Universities between 2015 & 2017) entitled Just Press Print that is currently on show at MICA.
My piece is a response to Sterling’s ‘Eruptions of the digital into the physical’. Sterling’s words made me reflect on objects in my life that had been designed to look and feel the opposite of what they actually were. I was keenly reminded of Walter Benjamin’s In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction – how a piece of art can lose it’s aura, it’s religiosity and truthfulness once it’s reproduced. In other words, it’s value becomes conflicted once it is commodified. It’s my belief that in the age of digital mimicking the physical, we cannot live without a certain handcrafted aesthetic. Perhaps without it, the world can feel cold and somewhat clinical. In any home department store, the justification for this belief can be found. T.K Maxx is littered with ‘Home Sweet Home’ hanging signs, crafted only to compliment an otherwise warm and ‘homey’ house. It’s odd to witness people buying these things, and even odder when you begin to ponder why they choose not to actually make it themselves.
The sentimentality of post-digital Britain today inspires and motivates us to desire fast digital processes, so long as they have a traditional aesthetic. This understanding motivated the design and format of my piece – a digital embroidery.
Read more about the exhibition Looking Through The Eyes of Machines as Students
See the video of the private view at Gallery Twenty Two
18th July 2016