Nomophobia is the fear of being without your mobile, or being out of mobile or internet reception. The fact that this phobia even exists shows something very important about our relationship with technology. We have now got to the point where we rely on our mobiles, computers, ATM’s, and other electrical devices so much that we would be completely lost without them. Andrzej Zielinski is from the USA and is currently visiting artist at the Painting Workshop at the ANU School of Art. His exhibition Prototype at the Canberra Contemporary Art Space explores our strong relationship with technology and the constant desire to upgrade to the new model.
Prototype is a collection of bright paintings which walk the line between abstract and representational. Electronic devices that we depend on everyday are simplified. Represented in glossy paint, and removed from their ability to function, we see them for what they really are: modern day icons. The shine of the paint changes from different angles, like computer screens or the gold background of early Christian paintings. Following in a long history of icon painting, the viewer will be mesmerised by the magic of objects which we interact with everyday, but never really understand. As each new electronic device is released we are drawn to the shine, the thrill of the new, and the growing mystery of their inner workings. The mythological pull of these devices is made screamingly apparent in Zielinski’s paintings.
Excerpt from catalogue essay by Alice Dickins; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.