The title of this show in the Marsh Gallery
at the Herron School of Art and Design is
Connection: Exploring Interpersonal Communication.
I had seen some of the artists installing the exhibit
a few days earlier and was glad I returned.
The theme of their work was based in their attempts
to gain an understanding of the ways people
interact with each other, specifically through
social media, e-mail and text messaging.
What I found fascinating, and ironic,
was much of the exhibit was hand-made.
While the artists definitely used electronic imaging
and printing for elements of their exhibit,
a lot of the pieces were hand-cut, the colored thread
used to create connections was pinned by
industrious hands, and the notes left by visitors
were virtually all hand-written.
The immediacy of the hand-made conveys
an intimacy that is lost in the electronic media.
While we may communicate with thousands
of folks each day, people tend to feel
a certain safety, an anonymity in e-messages
that has proven to be illusory: people write
mean and hurtful things on the social media,
things they would not think of writing on paper.
Conversely, folks who develop on-line ties
very often exist in comparative isolation, unable to engage in
actual interpersonal action, a lonely existence, for sure.
I wonder, however, whether anyone will read
all of the notes that have been left?
Will they be able to categorize and form
any conclusions from the little pieces of paper?