Artist: Brianna Meli
Media: Fiber Structures, Video Installation
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Marilyn Werby Gallery
About the Artist
Brianna Meli, 26 years old, is a local artist and undergraduate student at California State University, Long Beach. She is working towards her BFA degree in the School of Art’s Fibers Program. Before attending CSULB she studied at Fullerton College. She grew up in West Anaheim.
The exhibition, OVER_REALMED, features video installation and fiber structures. This project adds things other than the usual materials. She added earphones, chargers and other cables. These materials were sewn into the sheet with yarn spelling out “LOL IDK”. The two videos included in the show contradict each other. One video shows Brianna sitting on a chair using her phone; therefore, she is failing to recognize what is happening. The other is her sewing her quilt and connected to her work.
Brianna Meli focuses on the advances of technology and while there are many exciting benefits, there are also some cons. She expresses how she is struggling with this as an artist. She feels pressured having to keep up and stay connected with the expectations of social media, for example. Brianna also mentions that a concern she has is missing opportunities if she is not “online” or 100% connected to the “digital realm”. She also questions what would happen to her physical body if she commits herself to the world of technology. The main focus of her work is to bring awareness to this issue and allow people to experiment and detach themselves from the devices that are consuming us.
Because so many people have succumbed to the pressures of our quickly evolving technological society, I greatly appreciated the issue Brianna was trying to bring awareness to through her art work. I am also guilty of losing touch with the “real world” and getting lost in my phone. It is actually quite sad how often my friends and I plan a day to hang out after not seeing each other for along period of time and all we end up doing is sitting around a table using our phones. Checking my Twitter, Instagram and email has become habitual; I do it unconsciously. I agree that we need to detach ourself from these devices and be present in the real world.