Saturday, October 24, 2009

Meet Greet Rinse Repeat

Troy Gua and the Collaborati present Meet Greet Rinse Repeat (working title):

";-) This little happy face is a digital hieroglyphic of the future. Where we study the early cave drawings of the Cro-Magnon, the three-key happy face is the crude beginning of our online, text-based art world. Who invented the winking happy face, anyway?...There is a chapter in art history devoted to text-based art - presenting characters in different compositions, giant, repeating, nonsensical, graphic - it is no new idea. Still, I am struck by the seed of the happy face that concludes so many e-mail correspondences, so young and so prevalent - a wink, a smile, a frown - it is a new way to express our emotions in a sterile and remote landscape. I just have to think this is the first step, the beginning of a new text-based iconography." --Greg Lundgren, The Vital 5 Cookbook

Cave paintings>Cunieform>Hieroglyphics>Kanji characters>The Alphabet>Words>Sentences. Written communication has evolved with mankind over the centuries, and is, with the aid of technology, continuing to do so. Or is it? Some may say the written language is in a state of de-evolution. The advent of online social networking and hand-held devices has forced the modern populace to conform to a new communication rife with abbreviations, acronyms, and 'emoticons'. The written word is reverting back to a collection of symbols and characters. Is this a bad thing or a good thing? Should we be cynical or hopeful?

Arriving hand in hand with this new language is the mind-boggling ability and opportunity to communicate with our fellow man at the press of a button or the touch of a screen. We can make connections we would have never otherwise made. We can construct a history and a friendship before, and many times without, ever meeting face to face. Working as an artist (especially in the drearier than not Pacific Northwest) can feel like working in a vacuum, and this relatively new form of communication is extremely helpful to an artist such as myself struggling to navigate the Seattle art scene; learning about other artists and their work, making friends, giving praise, finding inspiration, becoming a part of the arts community.

With 'Meet Greet Rinse Repeat', I am asking fellow artists to communicate with me in our respective unique visual languages. I begin the conversation with a hand cut, futuristic and highly graphic character of invented symbolism. I hand this off to my collaborator for a reply, who does with it what he/she will, infusing the character with whatever creative spirit they deem fit. The collaborator then passes his/her visual response back to me for the conclusion of the interchange: a resin coating to seal our work together. I am inviting the collaborator to assign a conversational title to the finished piece: "It's not you, it's me," "I've been standing here the whole time," "I love you more today than I did yesterday", etc.

I am approaching this project with a sense of anticipation and wonder. What will my collaborators and I say to each other? What will our work say as whole? Will this project bring our community of local artists closer together? I hope so.

If you would like to participate in this project, please email me at

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