The affordances of the Internet — a vast, freeform, networked system of publishers and consumers — have altered the ways we perceive and share information (and mis-information) in the last few decades. Specifically, the online spread of information has been an enormous part of our experience of COVID-19 and the increasing political divide in the united states. Public news media, governments, organizations, social media, and individuals have worked, in turn, to terrify, inform, overwhelm, connect, inspire, offer hope, and to offer laughter over the last few years.
Songwriter and UNH Professor of Communication Kevin Healey responded to this onslaught of information (and mis-information) by writing, composing, and performing original music, and then asked me to respond to two of his works visually.
Angry Outsiders, written after the insurrection at the US capitol on January 6 in 2021, has a very specific structure and sensibility. Here the driving beat and contemporary themes in the lyrics bring to mind more vivid images and colors, an edgy, even grungy aesthetic, and the irrepressible march of time. Themes of information, overwhelm, anxiety, decay, dissonance, transparency, and tension become part of the visual exploration. Again, the piece does not directly illustrate the concepts in individual lyrics as they appear, but instead mimic the overall themes and sensibilities of the sounds and words, pulling contemporary images from creative commons image websites, and incorporating mainstream news footage and my own illustrations.