Technically a “livestream”, Doomscroll is a continuous 42” wide, 261” long (and counting) colored pencil drawing on a paper roll that documents daily life during the 2020 global coronavirus pandemic. As the pandemic forces isolation, people increasingly lean upon technology to satisfy entertainment addiction and provide intellectual stimulation, disregarding the often distorted veracity of creative content to reality. In Doomscroll, I aestheticize circuit boards and the act of engaging with technology by using a daily drawing practice to mimic the very act of scrolling on a screen.
The colors in Doomscroll reflect my daily mood as affected by consuming digital content, as well as anything that feels personally, nationally, or globally significant such as news of the presidential election and the growing number of COVID-19 cases in my own apartment. At the end of each day, I roll up the drawing to obscure what I have just done so that those composition decisions would not influence or interfere with the next day’s, much like how news feeds are refreshed and updated, even if the contents are still similar to the day before. Doomscroll reflects the discrepancies between the pace of global events and life in quarantine as mediated through consumption of digital content, the parallax perception of global and personal life viewed through a phone screen. By repetitively drawing each individual trace (the line) and pad (the circle) of an invented circuit board, the process of creating Doomscroll is a foil to the instantaneous speed of content creation in the current digital age. Simultaneously, the process implements an infinite scroll of content, one of the many addictive features of social media platforms.
Additional works amplify the effects of Doomscroll. My apartment environment is an integral influence on its creation so I created a virtual tour of my room that reveals how I live, quite literally, with the coronavirus. The second piece, a laser cut wood inlay QR code entitled Hippocampus, challenges the permanence of digitally preserved precious content from ancient artifacts to family home videos by recycling and repurposing the embedded link to serve new functions, present and future. In combination with Doomscroll, Hippocampus serves as a portal into the intimate environment of quarantine life and memory, something normally hidden from curated social media feeds in favor of a semblance of normality.