”169”, a digital projection, was part of ”Do You Understand?”, a group show focusing on the concept of modern communication, which ran in January and February 2010, at Future Tenant Gallery in Pittsburgh.
In exploring the idea that Facebook is an incredibly powerful example of image over substance, I frankly admit I have little or no communication with the vast majority of people on my Facebook account. My decision to render in pen and ink the profile photos of the 169 Facebook friends I had at the time (or more accurately the ones that even had profile photos), was more out of an interest in examining my own response to a studied attention of the most compelling aspect of them that in most cases I can still relate to—their face. Out of context and without assigning any information other than presenting them for what they are, they are merely an anonymous succession of portraits recognizable in a vague, esoteric sense— engaging, enigmatic, and sometimes even baffling.
I’m no different from many that when I first make friends with someone now or reconnect with someone from my past I’m often more interested in what they look like more than anything they have to say, which in some primitive behavioral vestige is a reminder that faces are in fact our first and often most profound impression of another human being.