February 18, 2017

John is an echo chamber of emotional response to the current political climate. I am concerned/compelled/confused by the place of language right now, as we see the rise of “alternative facts” and speech designed to induce hate and persuade us towards fascist views. John is a response to this – a catharsis, a primal scream, a sigh. It’s based off a conversation that I overheard my neighbor having on the phone the day after the election; he was clearly speaking to someone he disagreed with and became increasingly flustered over the course of the ~30 min conversation. I couldn’t overhear the distinct words, but every few minutes the neighbor would yell “JOHN”. The word became a clarion cry to punctuate the conversation. “JOHN” encapsulates the frustration that comes as we discover language faltering, failing as a system to convey the extreme emotions that are conjured up by the kind of politics that we’ve found ourselves caught in the crossfire of.
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Waverly Mandel (b. 1991) is a multi-media artist and web designer living in Los Angeles. She holds a degree in Contemporary Art and the Commodity and Web Programming from NYU’s Gallatin school. Her work concerns themes of digital self awareness and sociological views of the body.