Paul Staring, Multidisciplinary artist
“The issue is what is being represented and whether it’s a finger pointing the observer toward or away from the direct experience that awaits them outside of the theater or the silence beyond the off button” .
Tedeschi, J.(2019). The Analog Sea Review, Issue 2. Interview with Peter Mettler, page 35.
My art practice revolves around creating experiences that help myself and others to live intertwined and immersed in our surroundings. I’m on the road of reclaiming my attention, moving towards a life that is focused on what really matters to me. I plead for slowness, making space for boredom and introspection. For getting it off the highway and onto the winding road.
My work has revolved a lot around researching different mediums and technology. In this practice I used to be a techno-maximalist. I used technology when it brought an advantage without weighing it against the disadvantages. Over the years I have grown more critical of this. The quote I opened with, sums it all up for me. Is the experience that’s being offered a distraction or is this something that can help us live more intertwined? We need to get back to a world where technology is a tool we use, instead of technology making us and our attention a resource that gets used. I strive to apply this in my creative practice.
Besides that, a field that I’m discovering and very passionate about is the way art can be a ritual. ‘our churches have been replaced by radio towers’ is what I intuitively wrote in my journal in 2019, still unaware of what it really meant. While religion used to be the foundation of our society, science and technology now seems to have taken its place. It feels as if more and more people are noticing that we lack common ground and space for connective experiences, something religion used to offer. It is so important for us as humans to have events where we get a sense of community and have space for things like welcoming the seasons and grieving the departed. The focus of my art practice is shifting toward creating meaningful and connective experiences. I know the experiences I create are a success when they aren’t a distraction from everyday life, but help to immerse oneself into their surroundings. This could be an experience that helps you sit with a sense of loss, or one that shows you the beauty in the way sunlight breaks through the leaves, leaving you enchanted to look at that differently from that day on.
I see a possibility where ritual/meaning can join forces with technology. It’s a dedication to not look for distractions or an escape, but to ground ourselves in this reality. With all its messiness, beauty and heartbreak. Creating projects that serve as guideposts back to reality.
“The extent to which this technology will succeed for anything beyond an isolating form of amusement park ride will depend on developer’s ability to resist the temptation to build high resolution simulations for individuals, and their willingness to accept that virtual reality is not a path to the next dimension, but a way for us to find our way back to this one.”
Rushkoff, D. (2022, October 28). Now You See What I Mean – Douglas Rushkoff. Medium.