Updated: May 2, 2021
This project is a loose collection of debris in several different mediums. I came up with the idea because of a large injury I recently suffered: a full ACL tear and severe meniscus damage. This has taken me out of sports, which has always been a huge part of my life, but it has also left me with a sense of fragility and reshaped my perception of the world from a very fundamental level. This project is a statement on the nature of building blocks, both in life and in art, the destruction of large works such as the human body, and reconstruction of meaning from raw fundamentals. Each piece of the project reflects both a perspective on destruction and reconstruction and also represents a stage in my coping process with the injury.
The first medium I worked with was 3D material. These structures are all extra plastic pieces leftover from various 3D prints used in my research. Through examining this waste material, I explore the complex identity of meaning within "art"--is meaning produced through the artist's intention or the audience's interpretation? Like the human body, the structures and materials I worked with in my research were designed intentionally for precision and effectiveness, yet the leftover scraps of these sophisticated designs are anything but intentional, precise, and useful. These plastic remnants of what was once well-designed reflect the feeling of hopelessness, helplessness, loss, and even disgust I experienced after my injury.
Fig. 1 depicts the broken connection between two pieces, an analogy for the tear in my ACL.
Fig. 2 - 3 are supporting structures for a design that hovers in midair. These I broke as a direct reflection of the broken support of my physical body without a functioning ACL. Unfortunately, these pieces cannot be touched digitally, but they have a sharp, gritty texture that resembles the kind of pain my torn meniscus gives me. The very physical and tangible nature of this medium is meant to create a sense of immediacy and intimacy to pain, which was my initial experience after the injury.
Fig. 4 - 5 depict a torn up fortune from a fortune cookie, drawing into question the role of bad luck in my injury - could it have been avoided?
Finally, Fig. 6 depicts a spring-like component that both reflects the role of the meniscus as an impact absorber and raises the question of recovery - can the human body recover the same way springs do after compression?
The second medium I worked with was language. My poetry plays with the way the words and letters look on the page, and the way they sound when spoken out loud in order to create a sense of fragility. This I did to reflect the natural capacity of conventional mediums to decompose, the fragility of these mediums in preserving their stereotypical form, and how easily the line between mediums such as poetry and visual art can be broken with the simple tools that the general public uses. The idea of the piece is to really draw attention to these individual building blocks and how they function in an interconnected way, like gears inside a machine.
swathed in Velcro.
to it as it moves.
S. T. I. F. F.
a bag bricked with books
1 e g g s h e l l knee.
fear more than pain. a
simple touch could
crack the e g g,
out in trickles against the calf.
Ultimately, the arrangement of mediums/pieces in this project is meant to be reflective of the overall experience of injury and mental rehabilitation: fragmented and loosely cohesive. In each of these mediums, I worked a lot with the way things come apart, as well as the way things are put back together. There is fluidity between states of the human body, as there is fluidity between the arts. After all, art is all made of ideas and elements that are arranged to carry those ideas—sometimes, it is necessary to destroy the conventional linkages and structures in order to create a new world view.