I want to create works that combined comfort, disgust, and fear to show how we can become too focused on the negative events in our lives. My work focuses on generating a physical embodiment of this negativity in order to examine how negativity colors how we view this world.
This project focuses on a theory referred to as Negativity Bias. Negativity Bias occurs because the human mind pays more attention to unpleasant things than to positive actions. Things of a negative nature such as the black foam used, builds a barrier to the normal function of everyday objects causing the viewer to experience negative thoughts about objects that should be of comfort to one. These negative responses have a greater impact upon on our behavior and memory. Such effects cloud our judgment and impair our ability to interact appropriately with our environments and the people around us.
In using mundane objects that are meant to protect or offer the body respite, I use the black foam to structure barriers against their use. I am calling attention to how negative feelings create destructive thoughts to such normally mundane objects and thus can do so in our own lives and judgments. For example, the chair, entitled “Have a Seat,” illustrates how quickly an object can be deemed unusable when affected by negativity. Chairs offer a way to let us relax and rest, but the negativity affecting this chair has made those things impossible and daunting. The umbrella piece, titled “Personal Burdens,” demonstrates how negativity may appear to protect us in the same way we would use an umbrella to protect ourselves from the elements. But in reality, that protection will end up blinding us to the way things are on the outside of the umbrella, including the positive things that could help us, offer us solutions, or even make us happy.