Our series CTA on Paper continues with two new drawings by artist Susan Wise. The first depicts a rare find: a high school student she saw on the Red Line who was holding something other than a smartphone! This teen resonated with her because Susan was like this at her age -- always drawing something. Plus the fact that she was using such "old" technology - paper and pen. She probably will not be a theft victim. Call her an "early rejecter.'
Susan's second drawing is in some ways just the opposite of this young teen. It's about how technology takes over people's physical and mental processes.
Susan calls this "Death to Videodrome." When Susan sees people "tethered
to their handheld devices," it reminds her of the David Cronenberg
- "where technology takes over your physical and mental processes so
you can be more effectively controlled by corporate interests," she
says. The big increase in thefts of smartphones and iPods is "an
unintended consequence of their invention," Susan adds.
issue of being tethered to our devices and ignoring others and our
surroundings -- something I too am guilty of sometimes -- was addressed
in a New York Times article last week:
"You are at a party and the person in front of you is not really
listening to you. Yes, she is murmuring occasional assent to your
remarks, or nodding at appropriate junctures, but for the most part she
is looking beyond you, scanning in search of something or someone more
"Here's the funny part: If she is looking over your shoulder at a room
full of potentially more interesting people, she is ill-mannered. If,
however, she is not looking over your shoulder, but into a smartphone in
her hand, she is not only well within modern social norms, but is also a
wired, well-put-together person."
This gets back to civility, that I wrote about earlier this month. We could all use a little more of it.
Illustrations by Susan Wise.