Max Abeles: Plaster Patch

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    Plaster Patch



Artist Statement:

    Modern medical technology is allowing us to live longer and recover faster. Sometimes a gadget is blatantly affixed to our bodies, and other times, usually in a moment of crisis, circuitry is installed beneath or inside us. The impetus for these rapid advances in medical science came about not from everyday aspirations for a better life but from military and corporate desires to maintain national leadership. On the receiving end of this whirlwind, we are rapidly becoming dependent on the computer chip for much of our daily lives.

    From the invention of the first candle to the mass-produced fluorescent tube, the extent to which humans can bend the laws of nature to their whim has proven exponential. In highly industrial societies, the act of walking down a city street allows little rest for the mind, as zeros and ones translated into commercial air and eye space penetrate our ocular and auditory organs (which were not built for such high-powered, high-frequency input). In the 1970s, this technological phenomenon was considered a “future shock”, but in the 21st century we have entered a state of “future saturation”.

    Consumers question nothing as obsolete software is replaced by a new version, quicker than a heartbeat. Even using this kind of biological metaphor (blink of an eye, beat of the heart) generates a wave of nostalgic longing for times when pulsing screens did not buffer interpersonal emotional contact. Whether we are strapped to a hospital bed or simply watching television, we are careening down the electron-powered highway toward a universally wired world that is emotionally deafened.

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