#89

you took my hand in yours
and lead me slowly to the edge
of the water

our walk was deliberate and planned
unbeknownst to me who assumed
walking was enough

happenstance was never our path —

i gazed thoughtfully into
the depths of the bright blue water;
at the fragmented sunlight dancing beneath

in the brief moment when the breeze
brought my attention afar to rustling pines
you pushed me, hard and fast, into the depths

compassion was never your virtue —

in response to Sink or Swim

the times of then

then was a time of great separation. in order to function the people of then needed to know where they stood. who are my people? where is my place? what is my role?

tell me my purpose.

then was a time of classification. placing peoples in arbitrary sects of psedotogetherness: man. woman. straight. gay. christian. atheist. rich. poor. white collar. blue collar. liberal. conservative. within these groups, the peoples of then felt a sense of peace, a sense of purpose, a sense of security, and a sense of power. however warped we now may find this sense of self to have been, it was what the people of then strived for. everything the people of then did was to find their sense of self, real or imagined.

and once their sense of self was found, it was the utmost responsibility of the people of then to tell as many others as they could about it. by posting on antiquated social media sites such as facebook and instagram, these programs of old allowed the peoples of then to provide the world a completely fake and altered image of the life they were really living. by using filters and photo-altering applications, the people of then were able to project whatever kind of image they felt necessary. the images the people of then projected correlated directly with the classification they wished to place themselves.

while the people of then often posted brags of a life of fulfillment and beauty, the people of then were incredibly depressed as a whole. what the people of then didn’t realize, was that attempting to find fulfillment through a mere representations of reality, in actuality, detracts from an individual’s ability to appreciate one’s actual life. but the people of then weren’t concerned with inner peace and happiness. the people of then were concerned with their outward representation of peace and happiness from within their false reality — the idealistic and unattainable image of one’s fullest potential was what the people of then held most dear.

the people of then lived in a culture of rampant insecurity. the people of then were looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong places. the infinite power of their time and energy was spent “looking down”, as it would later come to be called, into their cellular phones incessantly checking and posting to all of their social media accounts. today we know the dire consequences of spending a life “looking down”. besides the incredible physical health risks (bent neck syndrome, blue-glow eye disease, carpel tunnel of the thumbs), looking down caused the people of then missed opportunities for social justice and growth. the people of then spent so much time looking down that they didn’t bother to really see those around them; they understood their neighbors to be the representations the neighbors worked so hard to create. they spent all of their time online arguing for their causes to maintain a place of status within their group and feel a sense of self-worth. and while social media gave the people of then a false sense of togetherness and connectedness, the people of then continue to be the least socially connected generation of all time.

this exhibit dispiritedly looks back upon the people of then with a sense of cruel irony in the knowledge of the ultimate outcome of such a “connected” and “technological” society. this exhibit will give you a rare glimpse into a life of looking down.

From the Collection of the Artist