As an interdisciplinary artist, I am fascinated by the façade of the Internet. With the rise of Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms, I am compelled by how online identities function and relationships are navigated digitally. My thesis exhibition, Sugar Coated, immerses audiences in a creative installation that reflects upon these ideas. Immediate splendor and delight from handmade emoji bean bags, giant candy hearts, stuffed digital symbols, and musical ringtones are a veneer to the contrasting, apprehensive language, passive aggression, at times, invaded privacy we encounter online.
My research of the analysis on digital culture explores “camp” theories and its involvement with social psychology. For something to be “campy,” it teeters the line between humor and horror or self-awareness and naïvety. In the context of art history, camp takes on a frivolous appearance, theatrical aesthetics, and shocking excess of over-the-top stylization. My work explores these notions, while inviting the broader community to participate in a social Valentine’s Day exhibition. With a multitude of varying access-points, a vast array of individuals including children, art-academics, and community members can appreciate the work. My interactive show will foster societal change by offering face-to-face human connection, unlike the impersonal online “like” of relationship updates or re-tweet of cute puppies. This creative installation will transform the Harry Wood Gallery at Arizona State University on February 7th through 14th, 2020. In a time where information, ideas, and actions move faster everyday, I ask the audience of Sugar Coated to slow down and participate in collective mindfulness.