I am often guided by a lucid statement Franz Kafka once wrote, “Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable.” Here at Cranbrook over time, that quote’s significance rose considerably for me personally, and Blinded by Steel is exemplary of that. This work comments on the human condition saturated with absurd fetishism towards technology. The portrayed machine hovering over its viewers takes an authoritative stance, claiming dominance over anyone attempting to penetrate its function. The kafkaesque structure, although perceptibly three-dimensional (presented on a two-dimensional plane), appears inflexibly static, unyielding to the viewers’ desires to analyze its innerworkings. The machine exists on its own terms. With this piece, I attempted to evoke a dramatic emotional response by forcing the audience into a submissive role of David facing the almighty Goliath.
Blinded by Steel being my first major project at Cranbrook is an evident effort to let go of my previously acquired rigid design sensibilities and draw out my work into the third dimension (metaphorically and literally). Personally, this project proved to be a big step forward, both formally and conceptually. On a formal level, integrating a two-dimensional poster with corresponding three-dimensional objects was a new notion to me. Through the sparse quality of the installation I was able to instigate a dialogue between the sculptural elements and the central structure. With the aforementioned combination of objects the work was able to take on a more commanding stance.