SATURDAY WARNINGS: The Distortions Of Memory And Broadcast
In an era where changing media has created competing narratives of who we are, our only true common history comes from the time we were most ourselves; Saturday mornings.
Just before broadband replaced broadcast, cartoons were a unifying experience for all kids. Early morning rituals of cereal and storytelling created a shared vocabulary, which we all could relate to, in stark contrast to the atomized on-demand landscape we grew to inhabit.
But what’s at the core of this common experience? Simple drawings and recycled imagery, hollow artifacts assembled by wageworkers on deadline. Two-dimensional nothing, broadcast over invisible air, and transmitted into malleable minds sitting atop shag carpets.
Yet this is where we retreat. As instability rises, so has the appetite for remakes and revivals. Movie studios and streaming services are offering an endless supply of return trips to the seeming stability of our shared fiction.
But can we really return? Or is our bedrock of stability nothing more than static filled black holes of nostalgia?
Inspired by the dissonant experience of late-night reruns reintroducing me to the cartoons first brought to me in the 80s by my Uncle Charlie—my current series of work explores the distortions of memory and broadcast. Blurring together familiar imagery with the disorienting nature of bright colors and geometric movement—as if the tracking is off in our own recollection.
I invite the viewer to gaze into the work—looking away from the challenging facts of today and into the comforting fictions of our past, all while reminding them the wisdom of their mother’s warning; “If you sit too close to the TV, you’re going to go blind.”
And perhaps we have.