Kinetic shadow sculpture concept mockup for a mission-driven art grant.
Designed in collaboration with Hilah Shenhav.
We’re seeking to make the reality of ever-increasing wealth disparity in the United States impossible to ignore. Today, it is estimated that the richest 1% of Americans own more wealth than the bottom 90%. While a certain measure of disparity is necessary to create incentives, we’ve reached a tipping point where the gravity of inequality has actually become an impediment to economic growth. This shift is deeply rooted in advances in technology that make it possible for the few who own these innovations to earn astronomically more money than the rest of society.
It seems we have created a paradox. Without the right socioeconomic systems in place, the very technologies we pursue to improve our lives can ultimately have the opposite effect. One of the biggest challenges we face in addressing this paradox is it is very difficult to conceptualize (let alone act upon) the magnitude of the problem. Not only is it difficult to visualize the networks of individuals necessary to support the wealth of the few, it is difficult for the elite to internalize the direct relationship between their wealth and others’ poverty.
This piece highlights the truth of our connectedness, and the absurdity of our fixation on exponential growth as a means to find purpose when the answer to our deepest questions lies not in differentiation - but in unity.