Friday, February 26, 2016

Short Sighted Selfie

Although we have long been in Janis Selby Jones fan club (she is Judith's sister), it was great to see the positive public response to her artwork in Out of Place: Creativity Meets Detritus of Land + Sea at the Tides Thoreau Center in San Francisco. With her mastery of composition and light (with an iPhone no less) she creates beautiful yet disturbing images that bring to mind the problem of plastic pollution. Her photographs capture that expansive feeling we enjoy while at the beach— the stretch of vision that extends to the horizon line. Then there is the shock of a piece of trash, of plastic washed up on the sand. Which brings us to questions: how did that bottle, bag or BIG GULP cup ever get there? and what can we do about it?

In 1986, instead of amplifying past predictions about the demise of the planet, Timbuk3 penned an optimist ditty, The Futures So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades. It has been interpreted as a song either about the promise of nuclear energy to power our electronic devices or perhaps the nuclear threat of the cold war. Either way it is a catchy tune.

Janis puts a new spin on the Future and the Shades. Her shades are made from sunglasses and plastic that has washed up on a stretch of beach in Carlsbad, California. They are goofy fun to wear plus they invite the wearer to look through the lens of the future — but in this case, the future is so filled with plastic that we have lost sight.

Short Sighted Sunglasses an interactive kiosk filled with sunglasses embellished with plastic garnered lots of attention at the opening reception. Some of the pics and pledges with real action items are on Instagram #shortsightedselfie and #plasticpledge.