Nowhere is the impact of new technology on relationships more noticeable than in the family. We have entered the age where children and adults are hypnotized by the screens of their personal devices. Paradoxically, we are connecting more than ever online while our face to face connections dwindle. Family conversations take place through threads of texts messages. Artist Toby Bartlett’s DVD Family is the startling examination of our digital relationships.
In DVD Family, Bartlett collaborates with video artist Rylaan Gimby to examine the growing divide among families due to the increased use of technology. Bartlett has created videos of a fictitious family. If you want to talk to Grandma – insert her disk. She’ll tell you stories and comfort you with grandmotherly advice. No need for her to be present. The exhibit points a disquieting finger at our absorption in technology and how by its very nature it shapes the way we communicate with others.
DVD Family explores the disturbing trend of people attempting to counteract this growing divide not with face-to-face communication, but by joining their family conversation in cyberspace. With DVD Family Bartlett wonders if we are pressing Accept in the digital family download without reading the Terms & Conditions?