Oil on canvas
182.9 x 182.9 cm (72 x 72 inches)
Suzi and Andrew B. Cohen Collection
In 2006, I made a painting, Google, that you can tell is probably made in 2006 because the computer is very old-looking. It looks like a computer in 2006. I was struck by how strange it is to have a computer in your studio. I think the studio and headspace are very similar; it’s almost like a private space or a space where you can work things out. To have a computer all of a sudden in that space, at that time, almost felt like a problem for me. I kept on having to hide the computer, or dress it up, so I wouldn’t go … you know, just to remind yourself of your relationship to it, in a way? So you wouldn’t just, whenever you take a break, go to the computer. I thought it was strange that you could access the world while you are in this private space.
So, the painting is painted very … almost in a deadpan kind of way. It’s very much like how my studio was at that time, where there was just a lot of mess around, and around the computer. Also since I am a pretty messy painter, there is a lot of paint and stuff getting on the computer, on the keyboard and on the mouse pad. I think there is also this kind of posture; being on the computer is … you are kind of disembodied. I wanted to have this feeling of this awkward posture, and then the feeling of holding hands with the computer. You have kind of been stuck there, for maybe hours, unaware of how you are sitting, or how you are. I was interested in that, and also this idea of a self-portrait. It was right at this moment where it felt like there could be a portrait made of you online anyway, without your knowing, through your information that you are putting out there. So I was sort of interested in this kind of portrait that is decentred but also that’s making a self-portrait of you anyway. In the screen, there is a Google image search of “telepathy,” and I think at that time I felt it was this way of the computer getting inside your head. You are kind of connecting with the immediate thoughts of others, and I was interested in that as the keyword to search.