Link To Vimeo Caroline Udell standby 2016 circuit boards, acrylics, enamel, plywood, video 8 3/4" x 11 1/4" x 1 7/8"
"The lights are off but someone's home."
Listening is hard to demonstrate. Professional advice provides guidelines for "active listening" According to one site: “Interest can be conveyed to the speaker by using both verbal and non-verbal messages such as maintaining eye contact, nodding your head and smiling, agreeing by saying ‘Yes’ or simply ‘Mmm hmm’ to encourage them to continue." There's a comfortable circuitousness in the way my friends vent that's different from how I talk about things. I've been told that I don't give enough listening cues. But whenever I've tried to make a conscious effort to engage in this manner, I can't actually pay attention to what's being said. I think there's a difference in showing interest and showing care, and I think there are ways we can and do show care without interjecting.
Metal fire screen, brush, poker, white latex paint, mp4 projection (5:17)
Our own thoughts can trap us making it hard to leave things behind. Both physical and incorporeal barriers are formed because of this, even though we can see what we are striving to reach for. Sometimes what we are reaching for is an end to an unhealthy bond with another. What does sharing this psychological struggle do?
In Transit is a wall collage, made of a wood sculpture, my father's house plans, some of my personal drawings and prints, teabags, maps of baltimore and the eastern shore, and a network of thread. I began this piece with the middle center sculpture, and continued to place these rectangular forms radiating outward. The thread serves as my intent to connect this jumble of objects to one another, yet resulted in this mass network of lines, an unsolvable maze of interconnections. To me, these objects and images are my childhood, my comfort. Yet, the thread seems to restrain the images, confine them in their exact locations. As a whole, I see a giant spider web, or a map guiding me somewhere, yet these lines are tangled and knotted, with no ending point.
For this sculpture, I originally wanted to just create a simple maze game. I was focused on FUNCTION over form, but somehow it ended up looking pretty neat. The original idea was to have the maze which was made up of some white molding pieces I found and then have the viewer be able to roll the ball through it and solve it. I wanted the maze to be difficult so I printed out a large scale replica of some maze I found online and tried to re-build it. This proved harder than I thought, and so I proceeded to Make a grid of 1x1 inch squares and freehand the whole maze. It was very fun to put together, and as I glued to pieces down, I learned to be more patient and detailed with my work. After the maze was completed, I added a pivoting system to it so the user could successful roll the ball on both the Y and X axis.
After this, I decided maybe I was done. There was a side-idea of having a magnetic glove which would control the ball from a distance, allowing the user to solve the maze with their hand. This would have been magical, but the physics didn't quite work out.
After scrapping that idea, I played around with some more thoughts until realizing this whole maze should be in a ball, which you can then rotate on all axis to solve the maze. I made a steel frame with some flat strips of 2 inch steel and then curved them into the desired shape. After this I welded it together and added a weight on the bottom to ensure stability. Although a bit wobbly, everything worked out in the end and people loved playing with it and solving the maze.
We as humans are created by our environment. We take all of the information we encounter and through our interpretation we create something new. The human experience is translating information and putting it back into the world.