Press Release :: What’s not on my Mind


“What’s on your mind? ”

Is there anything NOT on your mind? With the ubiquitous proliferation of social and information networks in our lives, EVERYTHING seems to always be on our collective mind(s).

In her second solo exhibition at Pablo’s Birthday, Carla Gannis posts her personal “mind” reflections onto the gallery walls, and offers us, like the “drink me” bottle that jettisoned Alice into Wonderland, access into a world of nostalgic-futurist visions, pleasure-principled dystopias, and myth-based mash ups wrapped in sharp-eyed, but softly rendered social metaphor.

In these digitally painted narratives, we find fragments, like so many tweets or Facebook “on my mind” commentaries, stirred into a cocktail of subconscious visual meanderings and hybridity. For instance, in Gannis’s centerpiece, The Park, references to art history and social networks collide, in an expansive panoramic triptych that exists pictorially somewhere between a traditional watercolor and a virtual role-playing fantasy game screen.

Welcome to the massively multiplayer world of Gannis’s imagination as seen through these preludes to online networked portals. Within the limitless worlds of design and interaction, what artistic possibilities exist and what rules apply? Where does virtual meet or become real? In these social communities what danger lies on the rocks where the binary Sirens sing? Are these even “communities” or rather viral masses of self-centric individuals, each a Narcissus drowning in his or her own reflection?

“What’s on your mind?”

Every time I log into my facebook account, the same rather innocuous question confronts me.

How many pithy textual replies can I provide?

Throughout 2009 everything seems to have been on my mind. It seems likely a result of the ENORMOUS everything that is on the “collective mind” at this point in history.

Our economy continues to suffer, our wars rage on, our technologies connect and isolate us simultaneously.

“What’s on your mind?”
Which mind or minds? My left or my right minds (brains)? My frontal or my occipital minds (lobes)? My conscious or my subconscious minds (selves)?

And it is from this state of mind, these states of minds, that I embarked on a new series of digital paintings and drawings. The focus is not, cannot be, on a particular mind set. Each of these works approaches issues of the “old” and the “new” human condition dualistically, or perhaps it is more accurate to say, prismatically.

In making these works amidst the whir and whirl of constant electronic access to “everyone’s” minds (via their “mind” updates, their photo posts, their video uploads) I hope to discover, (only at the completion of this cycle), what was and was not authentically on my mind.