Actions and Consequences

[portfolio_slideshow include=”,,,,,“]

My project is about how actions and choices have reactions and consequences in a society, and eventually in the whole world. How people understand those consequences in the beginning of their choices, and how does that actually affect their choices, if it does at all. The installation itself only works as a very simplified example of all the choices people make in our every day lives, and their consequences. The animals on the landscapes can refer to the exploitation of nature by humans. The cutting of the string “life” of an animal, and let it fall on the “gutter” with all the other dead animals and things, to, either get something as useless but fun as a cracker, or just to satisfy the curiosity of what is in the package. The viewer is faced with a challenge: a symbolic action that is morally dubious, or leave without being satisfied.

My constant interest is the society we live in, its problems and their sources, possible solutions and how its people react and what are the consequences of those reactions. In order to understand those issues I realised I had to understand the systems which each society is using, in order to be governed and organise itself. Most obviously in my opinion, the system of governing a society is the one that influences people’s lives most of all, and its theory and practice is what actually causes issues and solutions. Very early on I realised that I needed the basic knowledge that is given to any sociologist/ political artist, in order to continue in my research.I started researching the two most common political systems, which also happen to be the two most different from each other. Capitalism, the political system we live in, and communism. I started on communism because it seemed simpler for me to understand at the time, and because it is exactly the system that is not used in this country. This way I was thinking I would be able to read from an “outsider’s” point of view, and also try to understand how life in the current society we live in, would be if the system this country had was communism. On the other hand, reading about the theory of capitalism and the way it is put in action, I would be able to compare and understand how people through history,  have tried to tackle the ever constant question: What would be the perfect society? (Which leads us to so many other questions: By perfect, do we mean a happy society, a perfectly organised, a perfectly working one, or many of those terms put together? And in the end, is a perfect society possible?).

As I got deeper into the matter of the perfect governing system, it was unavoidable that I should read on works such as Plato’s Republic. It is no wonder that this kind of research has been going on for thousands of years, and still no perfect way of living has been found (at least not one that would be suitable for everybody, and how could there be just one for everybody, anyway?). Deeper psychological questions arose unexpectedly (although probably they should have been expected, really) such as, are human beings capable of perfection? What is perfection? And is actually perfection the way to happiness? But I tried not to get too far ahead from the initial subject, which is our society, and system of governing. The ultimate goal is always to find those structures and systems that would make every person within that society, happy (as far as a governing system can make its people happy).

The project’s progress certainly had its ups and downs. On the whole I do not feel I can say yet how successful it is, but this can only be judged by the viewer. For example, in my opinion, after getting the instructions on how to get a cracker, the idea of the project becomes obvious. Choices and consequences. But I consider it a downfall that the project does indeed need instructions instead of the viewer realizing what to do, without my help. Then the whole installation would feel more like a challenge. But since this is the first kind of interactive installation I have ever done, it has gone alright as a starting one.

Something very interesting is that the project felt as it was evolving by itself, slowly growing to a more successful piece with time.

Other ideas that influenced me greatly were the little elements that are given in the details of the installation, which serve as a starting point for something completely different. For example the string that is the animals life is coming from somewhere up in the clouds, and the whole idea that everything good is “up” while everything bad is put “down”. I realise that this is highly religious, as well as philosophical. An other thing is that through the making of the installation, personal memories came to mind, such as the crackers, and a line from a TV show : Love is like a Christmas cracker: one massively disappointing bang, and the novelty soon wares off”.

In conclusion i can imagine that at least the theory of the project are the lines i will keep working on, and the building of an interactive installation, along with reading on theories and philosophical ideas was very interesting for me. It was always a risk for me, to try and make my ideas understood by the public, and i am sure i need to keep working on that, until i get to the point when my projects will not need any explanation coming from me. One thing i would change is the arranging of my time. Although i have been improving on this, i felt i had arranged the building of the installation properly, but i still need to create an appropriate schedule for the amount of researching i need to do. It is true that I got so interested into reading about sociological structures, that I could not arrange enough time to look into other artist’s work on the subjects. This is something that I wish to change for my future works.