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The issue of making objects which are relevant and appropriate to the time in which they are being created is not a new concept. The earliest artists and craftspeople created work not only to fulfill the demand of their society, but to also reflect and influence it. This becomes a process of constant change, for as the society changes, so does its needs and values. The artists and craftspeople are responsible for becoming the antennae of the society, ever detecting the subtle changes in human nature and reflecting those changes in the work that they produce.

As I confront the issues of relevancy and appropriateness in my own work, I immediately turn to the computer as the answer. This technological advance is one which has grown with my generation and has become a part of every aspect of living in this society. The fact that a mere tool, though a powerful one, has had such a major impact on the world as a whole in the small amount of time in which it has existed is quite amazing to me.

It is for these reasons I have chosen the computer as my media. Through the processes of Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), and Rapid Prototyping (RP) I have limitless options at my disposal. There exists the possibilities of expressing pure concepts through "virtual" objects, building "actual" objects which have the ability to be produced, and overseeing the production of "tangible" objects.

So, then, the decision must be made what to produce. To determine what has either not existed, or not existed in the same way before. To find what is appropriate to this new media, for surely creating objects from the past in a new way is not enough. For this, I look to my generation’s obsession with piercing and body modification.

This new form of expression is particularly interesting to me because, though it has become the symbol of this new technological generation, it has its roots in "primitive" cultures. With the aid of current medical technologies we are able to take what was introduced in these cultures to a new level by surgically altering nearly every aspect of our physical appearance. We are not only able to safely pierce every part of our anatomy, but we have limitless options for surgical implantation which is evolving at a rapid rate.

The objects that I create are meant to explore aspects of this phenomena and also to bridge the gap between "hardcore" piercing and "mainstream" piercing. As an example of mainstream piercing, it is becoming much more common now to see executives with piercings high on the ear and around the bellybutton, but you would hardly expect to see them with a tongue, lip, or septum piercing. As my generation is getting older, they are entering the mainstream workforce and many do not wish to abandon what they feel is an important part of their identity. I strive to create objects which are elegant, yet have aspects of what has come to define my generation.

One of the ways I have directly addressed this problem is by designing pieces that interact with piercings in a way which eludes to their existence, without making the piercings the obvious focus. Pieces which function by making use of the piercing jewelry or the pierced hole itself as a method of attachment while being worn on the outside of clothing. This takes the piercing to a new level of body decoration, above and beyond itself. It also creates an entrance for mainstream society to view, and hopefully come to understand and appreciate, body piercing and body modification. All of the work in my thesis exhibition is meant to accomplish this final goal.

 

 

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