Watch for this artwork to appear on the Spark and Echo Arts website in the coming months.
Technology connects us in amazing ways. The Spark and Echo project, for example, gathers people around the Bible and art in new and exciting ways. Skype gives grandparents an occasional fix while away from their little buddys. I can call my wife for clarification when I’m picking something up for her at the grocery store. Collaboration with colleagues and students has become easier with shared documents.
However, like anything else in this world, a good thing can be wrecked. The wonderful connectivity that tech companies like to show off in their advertising has a dark side. Especially relevant to this project is the idea of digging around in private information-eavesdropping. Eavesdropping manifests itself in a variety of ways today. Hackers mining personal information, governments monitoring emails or phone calls, hidden webcams, flying camera drones, and gps tracking all use today’s connectivity in intrusive ways. As the boundaries of personal privacy disintegrate and connective technology marches forward, I’m reminded of Jeff Goldblum’s character in Jurassic Park. He said, “your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should.”
What happens when someone listens in on private conversations? In this artwork, a girl is shown holding a glass to a wall to hear better what is happening on the other side. She is not invited into the conversation, nor is her presence desired. Those are some of the factors that make her so intrigued. She listens intently. What’s happening in there? The artwork is an animated still with color morphs and flashes to signify the main character’s burning curiosity.
God has some advice regarding eavesdropping.
“Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.” Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 NIV
According to this verse, eavesdropping may lead to disheartening results. An honest self-examination will certainly implicate the listener. The message here is really that we’re not that different and there’s really nothing exciting to hear! You may become privy to some juicy gossip, but would it be any different if someone started digging into your life? Should anyone be surprised to find themselves insulted or threatened when digging into private matters?
Thus the artwork here provides a visual reflection of the main character. In a twist of the senses she listens to her reflection. The conversation she strains to hear is really her own voice. Perhaps the reflection is another person listening to her, perhaps she only hears herself. And maybe today’s prevalent voyeurism indicates a society of people trying to find their own identity.
So what do we get out of this? Some things in this life aren’t worth worrying about. Focus on how God has done good to you rather than on how others have wronged you.
Spark and Echo's mission is as follows:
Spark and Echo Arts creates and commissions a work of art, music, theater, poetry, dance or film in response to every passage of the Bible. We engage visual, performing, and literary artists from a diversity of styles and backgrounds, working in the top of their field. We seek a balance of artists deeply familiar with the Bible and artists who have not yet explored it, showcasing their work in our online gallery and at live events. - See more at: http://www.sparkandecho.org/about/#sthash.vgjY5zoI.dpuf