Pity

From The International Council on Cross-Cultural Dynamics. Stoneware, mason stains, acrylic paint, epoxy, arduino, ultrasonic nebulizer. Dimensions: 16 inches in height by 20 inches in width by 14 inches in depth. 2012.

I3CD, or the International Council on Cross-Cultural Dynamics is a series of ceramic busts of historical and contemporary cultural and political figures. Computer-controlled nebulizers produce steam at staggered intervals from the figures’ mouths, noses, eyes, or ears. Ultimately, these figures will be arranged in a semicircle to suggest animated dialogue. 

With this project, I wish to continue my exploration of the cultural, political, and economic significance of teapots and of ceramic as a material. The potential use of the teapot form to simultaneously engage intimate, individual experience and global capitalist forces first suggested itself while I was working on my figural teapot series of 2009. I began exploring these concepts seriously in Steeped, which engages attitudes toward ethically dubious, yet seemingly inescapable economic forces. I3CD will adopt a more playful tone than Steeped, grouping emblematic figureheads in a parodic distillation of global cultural and political exchanges. I3CD is also less concerned with individual experiences than with common experience, with those clamorous dialogues from which we cannot be entirely aloof without severing ourselves from all media outlets. Here the materiality of the ceramic is significant, as the ubiquity of ceramic production across cultures from earliest human prehistory, coupled with its frequent role in creation narratives, make it an excellent emblem for that which is fundamentally human, our broad biological and cultural commonalities.