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andrea alonge

Found upholstery fabrics, cotton, wool, chain, grommets, embroidery, fringe
40" x 39"

$1500

Artist website

artist statement

My interactions with my environment are shaped, influenced, and often viewed through the lens of technology and its evolution, and my work reflects this digitally inspired perspective. Sharing our lives in real-time through technology has become a part of who we are as a society, and how we construct our online selves makes a difference in our experiences in physical space. With the help of the computers in our pockets, we take pictures and videos, send messages to friends and strangers, check the weather, find people to date, add to our ever-growing calendars and lists of things to do, and map our destinations. We are touching from a distance, through panes of glass. The mobile phone has seamlessly integrated itself into our lives through its usefulness and convenience, and it is one of the few objects we keep almost as close to our bodies as the fabric whose soft materiality divides it from us. We now have the ability to communicate with others around the world and near to us at any location we choose, experiencing our lives through the mediation of the screen. We can peer into each other’s lives with the push of a button, using symbols instead of words to comment on the moments we observe; we pare down our communication with our family and friends, choosing images to convey our thoughts. With the advent of social media, our constantly changing selves can be observed by strangers, the government, our employers, our family, and our friends.

Textiles have long been a tool to express our values and individuality. Fabric has a soft materiality that is referenced by digital culture (networks, etc), yet as a material it is grounded in the physical. I use this textile tactility and softness in contrast to the hard, smooth phones that provide entry-points to the virtual world. Each fabric has an implied consumer or maker, and I combine these references with textile pattern and texture to create sub-narratives and visual puns in the work. Throughout my process, each manipulation of the work is both conceptual and physical, and I am interested in the physical translation of intangible ideas historically associated with textiles - labor, love, or memory. Working with my sewing machine and with my hands allows me to relate on a small scale to manufacturing and industry, where humans and machines work in tandem. With my work, I explore the use of mobile technology as a tool to activate many channels of interrelation and human behavior, while highlighting the body and its presence or absence in the virtual and physical world. 


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