audience incognito

While working away on the first of many ideas for the Silent Witnesses project it occurred to me that we are all voyeurs these days. Checking into social media sites to see the latest meme or birthday event, following people we like (or don't like anymore), zeroing in on the salient details of excruciating terrorist events. — The blood, the body parts, the damaged child.

Don't get me wrong, I get a lot of ideas from those folks for easy meals after hard days. Simple ways to slice a watermelon. I even enjoy the occasional splash page from Spotify to tune me into new music. The blogs and postings by This is Colossal and the American Craft Council give me sustenance and joy.  Being plugged in results in a synapse symphony which probably takes my brain a bit longer to sort, study and dispose of each night in sleep.

So I admit it, I am a silent witness. Now actively so.

Silent Witnesses started with a pile of rocks with holes that I collected on a Lake Michigan beach.

I don't often speak up when political idiots test my patience. I don't rant about peace and war, women's rights, gun legislation or poverty (except to a few trusted friends over coffee). But I do process it. I do take it all in and parse it out and add it to my anxiety level. Those ripples of details fuel the ideas for my art, focus my energy toward understanding, fragment my feelings of hopeless angst. They distract, inform and poke at me each day in the silence of my studio.

We are all witnesses to horror today. The horror of hate and anger and terror. How do we change the flow to the positive? When will slicing a watermelon outweigh children carried on the backs of their frightened parents?

Silent Witnesses, Paula Kovarik, 2015