It seems like we’re invited to contemplate the nature of our political climate every time we turn on the television... Read More
It seems like we’re invited to contemplate the nature of our political climate every time we turn on the television or go online. I spend hours wondering how our discourse become so contentious. So divisive. So maddening.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we’ve gradually started speaking in social monologues, in isolated, cyclical rants. We seemed to have lost all sense of dialogue and discussion. We’ve become disinterested in our audience’s feedback and certainly their diversity.
We talk continuously to those already in agreement with us, and we don’t want to pause long enough for anyone else to reply.
In this piece, I’ve taken the most iconic image of American circular communication – Norman Rockwell’s The Gossips – and re-presented a selected segment of it as though it were the pages of a flipbook flashing past our eyes. Within the selection, we’re offered a very homogenous group of characters. These individuals converse amongst themselves without variation from one page to the next. Essentially, these folks are constantly saying the same things to the same people.
To the left, I’ve rendered the imagery with a reddish hue (a nod to the red-shift phenomenon in astrophysics – where a celestial body moving away from our eyes appears to be a bit redder than it actually is) as this page and its clarity of identity moves away from us. As the imagery shifts right, it gradually becomes bluer (referencing the blue-shift phenomenon – where celestial bodies moving toward us appear bluish) with these pages quickly approaching our present. As they do, our ability to recognize identities becomes more and more challenging. We’re moving away from a clarified sense of who we are, toward a distorted future, simply because we only seem to be conversing with those who look and think the most like us.