A multi-year, multi-media fascination
Mixed media and research across the world – Milan, Italy + Bologna, Italy + Perugia, Italy + Venice, Italy + Florence, Italy + New York City, USA + Richmond, VA, USA + Lexington, VA, USA
From 2017 to 2018, I studied the relationship between humans and smartphones and my work has been manifested in just about every medium (writing, dance, visual arts, performance, exhibition). It began during the summer of 2017 while interning in New York City for Taryn Simon, and continue back at my undergraduate university for the next year until receiving a grant to travel to Bologna, Italy in May of 2018, to continue a cross-cultural examination of my research in America.
Walking is the most simplified form of dance. As a dancer and choreographer, I am attuned to the ways in which people move through buildings, on the sidewalk, or down narrow walkways. The wonder of walking is that no moment can be replicated. Each movement is fleeting and forgotten, and often a response to either your physical environment or the people around you. There is beauty not only in walking, but in the way that we view the world while we move and learn with our bodies. This beauty and ability to engage with our environment is often obstructed by technology, and our daily rhythm of movement is dictated by our cell phones. I have spent the past two years observing pedestrians as a flaneur in a few cities across the world. I am an anthropologist who observes the movement of people in the urban landscape. I see masses of people who do not notice me, the notes that I write, or the photos and videos that I take. The movement that I am most drawn to is that which is dictated by the use of cell phones. Smartphones act as the all too demanding choreographer in our daily lives. Our physicality is controlled by these small tools; we speed up, slow down, run into others, pause to check them, and constantly use them while we move. I am interested in the way humans interact with these devices which are not objects, but subjects. We do not just carry them around, but interact with them. They give us feedback from the internet, from friends, from work, and it's addictive. There is a cycle that we constantly enter into as we switch between the physical and virtual worlds. This cycle manifests itself physically in predictable, observable movements: in the way one walks texting, makes a call while walking across the street, talks to a friend while checking the screen, and the list continues. The day begins and ends with our devices, it's how many of us wake up in the morning, and what we check before sleeping.