I have a recurring picture in my head of an 1800’s mechanical automaton sitting at a wind-up piano playing repeatedly and mindlessly the same tune. This image has strongly influenced the series of work I have made for this exhibition - AUTOMATON.
It seems to me that we live in times obsessed with efficiency and automation, we have the most advanced technologies, fast internet and real time communication. We are permanently connected and wired with everyone and everything. However, despite these advances and innovations, we see the signs of obsolescence and disconnection everywhere.
Our minds and homes are plugged into devices, we are surrounded by miles and miles of cables. Living in large and complex societies, we have become accustomed to the fact that sharing physical space no longer means sharing experiences, we are almost unaware of each other’s existence. Everyone living in their own universe and socially distanced from others. The paradox is that despite this isolation our desires and cravings are the same. These ‘wants’ are without reflection or thought, frequently our decisions are being made by the ‘omniscient’ computer algorithms.
Disconnection has become so evident in our day-to-day encounters, that person-to-person relationships are no longer valued. Programs and machines are replacing human interactions - automation and the ‘big data’ are the new ‘Gurus’.
We are Automatons playing the big piano but are we playing our own tune?