Open Network: Brooklyn

Open Network: Brooklyn

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"Open Network: Brooklyn" is an exhibition of sculpture, paintings, and mixed media art featured at the Ampersand International Arts, located at 1001 Tennessee St in San Francisco. In the gallery's mission statement, they maintain that they exhibit contemporary art exclusively from passionate and creative mid-career artists for the purpose of promoting and nurturing them through exhibition. In addition, the gallery strives to be a catalyst between art communities here and throughout the world by facilitating collaboration between artists, curators and arts enthusiasts in order to cultivate an understanding different cultural perspectives. The exhibit serves as to illustrate the interconnection amongst a group of New York based artists. The title comes from the practice of sharing internet access over wireless networks allowing a free exchange of information, which relates to shared ideas within a community that shape and influence that community.

The piece in this collection that I found most interesting was a sculpture by Mai Braun entitled "Your Emotions Make You a Monster." Many different components make up this sculpture, but few are discernible. This may be intentional by the artist in that it was meant to be confusing just as emotions can be confusing. I can only assume that title comes from the song "Your Emotions" by the band Dead Kennedys. I concluded this after listening to the lyrics, particularly the verse:

Planless and mindless

Scraps from anywhere

Bunch of used parts

From garbage pails everywhere

Frankenstein became a monster

Just like you

Your scars only show

When someone talks to you

Your emotions make you a monster

The sculpture reminded me of an owl pellet with personality because it appears to be composed of the same elements. Bits of hay, dirt, sticks, and other indiscernible objects are formed together to create a monster-like creature with red eyes which is short in stature but large in depth and width. The sculpture stands on the edge of a large rectangular piece of paper with its body turned slightly toward the viewer, but with its head looking straight along the edge of the paper.

In "Your Emotions Make You a Monster," I see the piece of paper as representing a body, and the monster representing years of built up and various emotions. The monster is about to break free, it can see the body's destruction in its sights, but there might still be time to face this monster of repressed feelings if the body deals with them directly.

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This sculpture fits nicely in with the rest of the exhibit, because anyone can relate to the idea that it represents.

This piece though initially looked like a amorphous pile of twigs, upon closer inspection provokes thought into the lack of introspective thinking in today's society. With such rapidly changing technology and less and less community interaction as well as a conditioned thirty second attention span, we become less involved in our feelings, and more involved in the glitz and glamor of pop culture.
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