Illumination

The term illumination can be defined as an observable property and effect of light, as well as the process by which human thought is transformed and expanded. Illumination in the philosophical sense is akin to an awakening where an external factor (divine grace, novel idea, or technology) triggers the transformation of an individual’s understanding of the world and their place in it. This process can be on the scale of a cultural phenomenon (the enlightenment) or on the level of an individual, as when a child makes the connection between two previously unrelated concepts. The sculpture Illumination addresses the transformation of human thought, and speaks specifically about the role of technology in extending human consciousness. While the figure relates directly to the viewer’s body, the white orb encompassing the head symbolizes technology. The orbs’ design is intended to reference the finish of contemporary technology such as smart phones and tablets. With the white spheres encapsulating the head of the child and projecting an internal light outwards, the installation hints at the role of social media and technology in paradoxically isolating us and simultaneously connecting us to a wider community. It has been argued that technology extends the human consciousness on a global scale, while pundits decry the isolating and negative effects of ubiquitous technology.  Illumination critiques technology by delving into how technology affects human consciousness, identity, and sense of self. This work is on a timer, the light emits for 2 1/2 minutes and then turns off for 2 1/12 minutes.