OUTRAGE: Artists Respond to Trump

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GO AWAY

 

In 2012 I began making ex-voto tokens.  Little hearts with messages on both sides.  The front had the title of the category of the message, the back, the individual message.  Each message is a prayer for something I wanted or something I got and was grateful for.  Mainly, the prayers covered issues that weighed heavily on my heart that were too big for me to solve.  In creating them and their containers, I hoped to take their burden off me and kiss them up to God.

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One very unexpected category that came up almost on its own was GO AWAY.  The tokens practically made themselves.  I figured, what or who is on Earth right now, that if they only went away, the world would be a much better place?  I banged out the messages then set out to envision the urn to put them in.  Unfortunately that urn took an awful lot of time to execute.  I had to figure out the design, the engineering, the science and the lighting.  It took 2 years.  I made the urn in 2014.  I thought that by then those issues going into that urn would be stale and irrelevant and even better resolved by that time.

Little did I know!  Inside the GO AWAY URN, from 2012 are:

Newt Gingrich, Election campaign super pacs, Church in politics politics in church, Obama Birthers, Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, Julian Asange, Dominique Strauss Kahn, Anonymous Hackers, Al Qaeda, Taliban, Suicide Bombers, Christian Conservatives, Ultra Liberals, Violent Video Games, Facebook as a replacement for social interaction, Peta, Israeli Palestinian conflict, E.L.F., Tea Partiers, N.R.A., Political obstructionists, Radical Muslim Extremists, Health insurance companies, Snooki and Religious Extremists

Aside from Snooki, not much has gone away, and not only are not much in the jar are resolved, those in bold are not only still around but about to run our country.  Sigh.

That same year (2014,) I decided to comment on how social media was influencing people, especially politicians, especially the governor of my fair state, Chris Christie.  I made ECHO CHAMBER.

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This piece is an illustration of how certain politicians can surround themselves only with people who agree with them.  They hold “town hall meetings” where the audience is hand picked in advance, and if anyone else attends and expresses an alternate point of view they are rudely heckled and shouted down, if allowed to stay and speak at all.  It also is a reflection of how social media has put us into gorgeous little boxes of our own points of view; where algorithms hand pick what we see and digest as “news.”  All of our values are constantly reverberated back at us.  That was disturbing to me back then and now that hacking and fake news has been revealed as influencing this last election it is more relevant than ever.

I have had the extreme privilege of having these 2 pieces included in an on-line show, OUTRAGE: Artists Respond to Trump, curated by artist/activist Patricia Dahlman.  When I reviewed the works in the show I wondered how mine wound up among such amazing and provocative artwork by such incredible artists.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks my style is a little out of place, bordering on the side of elegance.  But like writer Flannery O’Conner, I try to bring weighty and distateful subjects to my viewer gently through beauty or humor.  Once they approach my work I then clobber them with the message.

Please take a look a the works in the show.  They truly are amazing.  They express my every anger and every fear.  I am astounded and beyond impressed that these artists were able to turn out this phenomenal work in such a short time.  Me?  I’m still processing my feelings, unable to express most of them.  I’m abashed, grateful and very dismayed that my 2 pieces, made years ago are relevant to this tragic turn of events in our collective history.

 

Live and Learn the Hard Way: Social Media and Me

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Pinocchio, my biggest cheerleader, alas, not so good at social media.

I have been a busy bee for the entire year. I have made a big push to raise my profile as ceramic and glass artist in both the fine art and retail world. In doing so I realize it’s finally time to drag myself into the world of social media. All of the advice I have been given says to take it slow. Learn one platform at a time, master it then create another one.  So for me that meant opening my Etsy shop (a very big learning curve for me) creating my smoke fire and luster videos and selling them on createspace.com, and my not one, but 2 blogs. (I have alot to say.)

Amidst all that, I have created new work both fine art and functional, had some commissions, taught students and took workshops. This has all brought me to one place and one place only: a lonely life in front of the computer with a studio full of inventory.

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Anyone want to buy any pottery? Glass? Jewelry???? Please?!

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How did this occur? It is clear to me in hindsight that my choices of social media platforms are backwards. I should have started with Facebook and Twitter, maybe Pintarest then once launched into successful orbit in cyberspace created the shop and blogs, but another bit of information I swallowed from the social media lectures was to be true to myself and do what makes me happy first, the rest will follow.

I LOVE to write. I LOVE to plan and strategize. I LOVE to create. I’m not much of a herd animal. I tend to get overly competitive. I also have an addictive personality and know that I would spend every waking moment watching my nieces feed their babies and commenting on funny cat videos if I had a Facebook account. I also have a thing about internet privacy, infringement and piracy, so while people around me were getting hacked, having their identities stolen and getting targeted filtered information from algorithms exclusive of other opinions, I sat back and watched. In fact, I have a little running competition with myself to see how long I can go without being on Facebook.

As a little aside, here are 2 works I created as my response to how algorithms have stifled open minded thinking, compromise, and project skewed images of topics:

Extreme Right/Extreme Left

Extreme Right/Extreme Left When algorithms feed you only information you agree with your brain gets encased in its own wonderful ideas and can’t think beyond its own barriers For more info, go to: http://lisagw.com/sacred-art-/memento-mori/view/34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Echo Chamber This is what happens when you only surround yourself with people who agree with you; trapped inside a beautiful echo chamber of your own creation. For more info on this piece go to: http://lisagw.com/sacred-art-/memento-mori/view/346

Echo Chamber
This is what happens when you only surround yourself with people who agree with you; trapped inside a beautiful echo chamber of your own creation.
For more info on this piece go to:
http://lisagw.com/sacred-art-/memento-mori/view/346

I am the sort of person who learns from mistakes and will only learn something that requires sitting in front of a computer if I see a need for it in my daily operations. (Making those videos finally taught me how to use my DVD player and remote control, big progress!!!) Well I think that moment has arrived for me and social media. I’m feeling alittle left behind. But I also am feeling anxious about balancing all the time and energy it requires to manage all of this or the cost of hiring someone to manage it for me if I don’t yet have a steady income stream.

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Now which one turns the damn thing on?

I can make myself crazy over all this, so it’s a good thing I have my studio to run and hide in.

One painful event that makes it clear where social media could have helped was the fact that my clay class at the museum got cancelled yesterday for lack of interest. Only 2 people signed up. If I had used Twitter, Pintarest or Facebook to promote it rather than just sending e mails to my class address book do you think it would have filled? Yes, probably. My e mail replies were regrets with thank you’s and glowing praise for my class and my teaching abilities, but alas these people were too busy this time around. Had I cast a much wider net I would have been successful, I’m sure. Oh well, live and learn, swallow the pride and move on.

On the bright side of this I now have more time to devote to creating, and increasing my profile. Where a door closes a window opens, right? It’s hard not to show my age at a time like this. I’m not so good at crawling through windows anymore but that’s where assistants come in. They are very agile and sometimes hold the ladder steady and push my butt through to the other side.

Lin Pernille, trusty assistant, charged with the un-eviable task of dragging me into the world of social medial

Lin Pernille, trusty assistant, charged with the unenviable task of dragging me into the world of social medial