Aria Dean


Aria Dean簡介

The artist and critic Aria Dean is concerned with identity as it relates to the internet and emergent image technologies. In her sculptural practice, she often employs everyday and seemingly mundane objects fraught with cultural significance, thus forcing a moment of reflection on the material politics of our increasingly digital world. The sculpture Dead Zone (copy) encases a single preserved cotton branch inside a bell jar. Cotton looms large in the American cultural imaginary, evoking for many the grave injustices that historically underpinned American economic prosperity—the theft and forced enslavement of hundreds of thousands of people from Africa. However, the plant is also used to a wide variety of mundane ends in manufacturing and decor. Though extremely generic in its present life, the cotton branch carries a massive symbolic charge. As such, in Dead Zone, the cotton branch appears as a haunted relic of a violent and traumatic past, but also as an aestheticised object inviting viewers to capture and disseminate it as an image— and therefore a commodity— online. However, concealed in the base of the bell jar is a signal jammer, which scrambles the signal of cell phones and other transmitting devices in its vicinity, effectively creating a communication “dead zone” around the sculpture, prohibiting it from being circulated online. Yet public policy in Hong Kong (as well as in New York and Los Angeles, where the work had previously been shown) does not allow for the use or possession of signal jammers, and effectively Dead Zone (copy) must be disabled when on public display—a testament to the fact that in this age, being interconnected is no longer an option but a total condition, and visibility is a mandate