One of the best aspects of my work is becoming familiar with so many amazing artists. Last night I had the wonderful privilege to connect with the young Cuban artist Mabel Poblet.
Over dinner, I attempted the few Spanish skills I possess since Mabel only speaks a small amount of English. Dinner became a wonderful mix of Spanglish going back and forth across the table. Mabel communicated that she is interested in pursuing more public work and site-based installations. I was truly happy to hear this since the programming I’m running at CYNTHIA-REEVES in North Adams is focusing so heavily on these kinds of projects.
A sign of the times, I think more artists are responding to the interconnected digital world that we are constantly interacting within. Images and artworks can now be shared over visual platforms instantly, but what these platforms don’t allow is a connection beyond just seeing the work. You can view a piece of artwork on your phone, but seeing that piece in person is an experience that your phone can’t translate digitally.
Your phone’s screen doesn’t consider the effort it took to travel to where the art was hanging, the sounds all around you as you stood viewing, or even the smells engulfing you. These stimuli are never stable and impossible to translate digitally. I believe public works or site-based installations expand into an overall experience for the viewer.
What Mabel was communicating to me was the urge to have her work reach people beyond what we are constantly fed on our phones. She is wanting to create work on site with people able to come and interact with her and see her process in real time. After the work is completed, the viewer can walk in a space that is designed to create a new experience.
This is the kind of artwork I want to help bring into the world; work that is accessible to everyone that is willing to take the time to go experience.