Hero; Vinyl, Mixed Media, Electronics, 10' x 7' x 10', 2011
Hero, is a defeated caricature of the 50’s cartoon character Underdog. The goofball “hero who never fails” has resigned to abject apathy. Strung out on too many of the “super vitamin pills” that provide his super powers, he sits slumped forward, distracting himself with an iPhone. This is drudgery, and the Hero has accepted the slow demise.
On one level Hero offers the same message of transformative consumption as the used car dealership gorilla that inspires his form. For that matter, so did the original Underdog show. The original cartoon was dreamt up to sell cereal to kids – yet somehow Underdog ended up popping pills to sustain his superpowers?
This piece is about my struggle to maintain amidst the onslaught of technology I use to control the world (internal and external). It’s about the need to constantly pop pills – pills to be happy, pills for health, strength, speed, focus, and pills to knock myself out when I can’t quiet my busy mind. It’s also about the technological crutch that the smartphone has become. Why do I have to Google something in every conversation? Is it really necessary to be this connected?
I love my iPhone as much as I love a good blast of chemicals. Each gives me super powers, and they both leave me feeling burnt out, lonely, and numb when I over do it. Eventually, one or the other will be the death of me.