“What Feeds Your Head?”
In 2020 the World Health Organization identified the rise of mis- and dis- information as an “infodemic” (World Health Organization, 2020, June 29). This is addressed in O’Connor and Weatherall’s The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread, which outlines the modern mass media led exacerbation of indistinguishability between legitimate and illegitimate information resulting from a capitalistic prioritization of sensationalism over substantiation, as well as the illusion of symmetrical expert division on any given issue through uniform reporting or access even though contrarian opinions are often uncorroborated or unsubstantiated (O’Connor & Weatherall, 2019, p.155-158). The widespread impact of these drivers of mis- and dis- information are then heightened through inequality compounding systems, such as the educational streaming of children toward or away from higher education based on early childhood student performances, as well as the elitist practice of institutionalized credentialing which limits widespread access to and understanding of academic knowledge (Corrigall-Brown, C., 2016, 256). Thus, What Feeds Your Head is a work that engages this issue through the symbolism of a surrealism inspired bust of an earless head with bagged and emptied eyes, connected by wire to a brain with binary running into its sinew-like supports. Engaging the craft reference of ceramic work, historically linked to decorative over high art, therein lies an association of frivolity mirroring the observable social undervaluing of the significance held by the infodemic being addressed (Crafts definition, types, history, 2022). With an aluminum armature covered in air dry clay and paint, connected by rebar wiring, and finished with the video element of running binary, this work’s materials engage the artificiality of the information feeding individual as well as collective ideologies, discourses, and outcomes. Ultimately, this work asks its viewers to reflect on their own personal and social connections to information systems, or in other words, this work asks its viewers to consider the question of what is feeding their heads.
Corrigall-Brown, C. (2016). Imagining Sociology. Don Mills, Ontario: Oxford University Press
Crafts definition, types, history. Crafts: Definition, Types, History. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2022, from http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/crafts-history-types.htm?fbclid=IwAR3lfcwgvXJrZIhyFYIxDmTHBTZFW8Daj1q6QY0C0Hcfu3cFNvCebwCWoBM
O’Connor, C., & Weatherall, J. (2019). The Misinformation Age: How False Beliefs Spread. New
Haven, London: Yale University Press. Retrieved April 1, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctv8jp0hkR.
World Health Organization. (2020, June 29). Listings of WHO's Response to COVID-19. www.who.int/news/item/29-06-2020-covidtimeline.