Tethered Artist Statement
Tethered is a combination of archival digital prints mounted on panels and a video installation with sound. The images combine to represent the feeling of being tethered. Although tethered was traditionally defined as a restraint for holding in place or limiting the radius in which one could move about, today, it’s more popular use is a technological term referring to the way in which we connect equipment to each other and to the internet. Tethered depicts the feelings of restraint one experiences due to being pushed and pulled in all directions by constantly being connected or tied to everything around us through technology.
Tethered portrays these feelings, by portraying specific periods of time in my life as I balance artist, mother, wife, student, and daughter throughout the week. Images taken during a two hour period of time are fragmented and combined with other images from the same interval of time, but illustrate me in my different roles. As unique as each two-hour interval is, certain consistencies also run through our scheduled days. The look and feel of a two-hour period in the morning versus a two-hour period in the afternoon conveys a very different set of characters, circumstances, interactions, responsibilities, and roles.
In comparison to today, past generations whether or not by choice were very segregated -- work and family life rarely converged. However because of emerging technologies, work can take place at home, and while working we can video chat with our families at home. With the advent of iPhones, Blackberries, smart phones and mobile devices in general, we can now check emails and essentially be wired-in 24/7, anywhere in the world. It is through these technological advances that our lives have become more confused, intermingled, and merged -- thus creating the tethering-effect.
As a mom of two toddlers who chose to go back to school, my time is always split between being a mother, a wife, and a student. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, my time is spent in my studio as an “artist/student.” On Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends, my focus is at home being a mother and wife. An idealized schedule was created to compartmentalize my main roles, facilitate efficiency and productivity and to allow myself to enjoy all my roles without guilt. This schedule rarely functions as planned. While working in my studio, one ring of a cell phone displaying the name of my son’s preschool, and the “mother” answers the phone. The mom has now entered the artist's environment, my mindset has changed, my focus is disrupted. Conversely, at home on a Tuesday or Thursday, I have to rush to feed the kids so I can get them down for a nap in order to finish a paper for school or study for an exam. We all lead similar lives, one does not have to be a mom, or a woman to appreciate the fusing and invasion of time, technology plays on us all. As a mom and teacher, finishing my MFA, and having my second son last February while in the program, I experienced a new level of stress and a phenomenon rarely known to generations of women or men before me. With traditional gender roles changing and blending, along with the exponential growth of technology, we are navigating tumultuous waters which are only yet beginning to be charted and explored.
Tethered is based on images photographed over a four-month period of time, documenting my life as an artist, student, mother, and wife. Pulling from thousands I chose 4 to 6 images from the same time of day but on different days of the week and then separate the image into slices using a mathematical formula. I then digitally integrate the slices to create a single, compressed image of a specific period of time. Each image is comprised of 2-3 images from my life as artist/student and the 2-3 images from my life at home. Once compressed, all the the different roles and interactions inevitably merge and influence each other and thus become a representation of the reality of life.