Tech Tools or: how I learned to stop worrying and love the Jesus Phone

Since we live in a world completely filled with advertising, I, unfortunately, take in a lot of commercials and ads. Also, as a thinking person, I am constantly wondering who the hell is getting paid to create this stuff. Here is a good example that I encountered one recent evening at a CVS.

at the entrance to a CVS...

At first glance this may seem to make sense: Yes, you can come here to get a Flu shot, and yes, a band aid is representative of health and, um cuts and stuff. However, how is a Flu shot administered “my way”? A flu shot is not a pleasant thing no matter how you spin it. Why even bother saying this. its pretty black and white right? either a) you want to get one and have weighed the negatives and positives, or B) you fucking don’t. How could a Flu shot possibly be tailored to my personal needs. How do major advertising campaigns like this get this far? at some point in the editing process doesn’t some non-moron say, “wait a second guys, this is fucking stupid. why doesn’t it just say, Flu Shots?” There is nothing nice about getting them. they will always be one of those things that just are. why even begin to try to nice it up. Root canals, just the way you like ’em!

moving on to things that don’t make the world uglier, I’ve been pretty into this guy’s stuff lately. Matt sent me this website a couple of weeks ago and (despite being disappointed by having a better telephone pole piece than I am making currently) I am really digging some of his sculptures. His mechanisms. seem really simple and understated but important to the work.

also, check out this guy Irwin Wurm‘s stuff. great weird proportion and scale play. this,
a detail of this piece,

looks like a badly stretched photoshop image. He does some excellent large scale work based on the house and familiar architectural forms. here it is installed in Beijing.

Anyway, Andy Hunter and Rizzhel Javier are both having their MFA thesis shows tomorrow night at six and everyone should be there showing them some mad art love. These two got here the year before me and are both pretty awesome.
here is Andy’s show flier. hunter_thesiscard_front_smallhunter_thesiscard_front_small

This semester is about to get pretty crazy as there are an outlandish number of advancement and Thesis shows coming up in the very near future. Andy and Rizzhel are starting it off and then it gets pretty packed. Im excited to see this bunch of shows. Some cool artists are coming here.

here is something our last resident artist Sylvie Rosenthal made… under a blanket.

also, since I think I neglected to post these when it happened, here are some shots of Her big Whale piece right after I helped her hang it.

crazy whale…

In totally unrelated news, I spent some time in my car this morning and had the chance to listen to Here and Now on KPBS. The were doing this really fascinating special on the use of new technologies for the blind. The man that they interviewed works at the Caroll Center For the Blind in MA. and had some really interesting gadgets and apps designed specifically to help the blind. The link to the story is above but the video is kind of lame. just listen to the story at the top.
I was fascinated by how much mobile technologies have transformed his life. He starts by showing us an Iphone app that can tell him what he is buying at the grocery store. he points it at the product and takes a picture and it says out-loud “cheerios”, or “Helman’s mayonnaise” or something and then he can access all kinds of information and pricing on each thing. In the interview he goes on to show devices made specifically for the blind that do things like tell you what color clothes you are wearing and translates text to words from ebooks. Most of these blind specific devices are relatively simple but he says they are very expensive since they are designed for such specialized purposes. I found it most interesting how his life has been totally transformed by devices like smart phones. He goes on to list what he carries with him, “iphone, ipad, and apple laptop” He says that he doesn’t want to sound like a brand person but that at this point in time, apple is far and beyond the best at creating accessibility software for the blind. He has his iphone set to act as a touch sensitive control pad.
This segment really got to me because I have been thinking a lot about technologies lately and am interested in how the artists that I am around choose to portray it. There is such a movement toward “technology is evil and is destroying our relationships” that we sometimes overlook how amazing it really is. I agree wholeheartedly that young children for instance, should not be texting their way through elementary school, but its pretty cool to see how these things can transform lives. I’ve seen so much art lately about our reliance on devices and wonder if it isn’t sometimes a bit knee-jerk. yeah, I’m addicted to checking my email, and that’s not healthy, but its great to have the whole thing put into perspective. check out the radio segment.

and now here is this…

1 Comment

Filed under geeking out, studio, thesis and shows

One response to “Tech Tools or: how I learned to stop worrying and love the Jesus Phone

  1. Reuben

    Dude, what an entry! So much good stuff. The bit on the flu shots is hilarious and Joseph Kohnke’s picnic table piece with the oil pumps made of plastic cutlery is fantastic. Shoot, a lot of that stuff was good, like the harmonica piece, oh my god! And your telephone piece ain’t done yet, so don’t be all nay saying yours til its done. The one I saw, didn’t even move. Lame! Also I love our culture and how you can get cheese burgers and flu shots ‘your way!’ Ha! The Here and Now was good too. Getting your new personal Jesus soon?

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