The Last Time I Saw Richard (land stitches), May 2020.
Created for Nature Refract, a group exhibition now postponed for 2021. Because, Covid.*
A funny thing happened on Facebook the other day. I read about that art piece erected, Banksy-style, in the middle of Utah bighorn sheep country. No one knew how it got there or who did it. Because art can be so wonderful and simultaneously eye-rolling, I decided to make a joke. I claimed on Facebook, in humor, the mystery piece as part of my post-graduate thesis work, and made a humblebrag that I was covered by the New York Times. Some recognized the fib. However, most didn't, and congratulated me ("of course it's you!"), and reposted ("My girl Nica Celly is the one who did this piece!"). Now, if this happened two months ago with a political claim instead of an intentional goof in a moment of heretical pause, it could have been a serious social media problem, and we know how that goes… terribly. Though I was ultimately flattered, and my ego tickled by the possibility that folks thought this was my work, I remembered this: even the most brilliant minds have been moving too fast to read the details right now. After the last few months, our attention has been so distracted with conflicting and composite narratives overloaded with images, memes, claims to truth and untruth, news and f*&e news. Our minds are exhausted. It's cool and definitely forgivable.*** We are healing right now. However, we have compromised our ability to maintain attention and discern beyond a headline. And with that, to create messages that communicate clearly and in alignment with what we are trying to express. Here's what I've learned about the now: Attention is short. Clarity is crucial. In order for us to communicate after we've been brain rattled by a prolonged period of relative truth twisted it on its side, we need to be super clear moving forward. Clarity is the golden nugget from which we can encourage a revival of attention. It's kind of hard to do alone, so please get up with some friends on zoom and check in. As we lean into Winter and its accompanying natural contraction, we have the opportunity to reflect, gather ourselves, and get our attention back. If you've found that the summer and autumn messaging has been reactive instead of responsive, or your communications have left you feeling less than aligned with the now, please hit me up. Whether it is aligning with your mission statement, operational strategy or making what you do look as good online as you feel when you do it, I'd love to support you.