Variable Condition investigates human behavior through the metaphor of color charting. Through these textured, highly structured almost sculptural paintings I'm exploring perspective, pixelization (handmade vs. digital), varying conditions and outcomes (through color), and the experience of holding things (or views) so closely that we develop a myopic viewpoint. The paintings are symbolic of these habits of thinking and behavior. Technically I'm thinking about the nature of painting, specifically the unrepeatability of color mixing on a molecular level and how that contrasts with digitized bits of data.
The benchmark piece, Variable Condition I, is organized, predictable. Each color on the x axis is mixed with a y axis color and then with an equal amount of white. What will happen when other variables are added? Predictability is shattered. Much like life, which prides itself on change and unpredictability, the paintings will become disorganized, and infinitely more interesting.
Simultaneously I'm thinking about the filter bubble, a phenomenon that describes the algorithms Google and other big data gatherers use to show you results, news, websites, and ads that it thinks you want to see, thereby eliminating alternative points of view or other possibilities. My web is not your web and vice versa. These paintings relate to pixels, which make up nearly everything we look at now as every image, print or digital, is made up of millions of pixels. Magnifying the images makes them pixelate, and our view of the big picture becomes myopic, distorted. We are unable to see the whole for what it is. This speaks profoundly to how we navigate our newstream and internet, and why we seem to be unable to have nuanced conversations and we are surprised when we encounter a viewpoint that differs greatly from our own.
Filter bubble (Wikipedia): A filter bubble is a result of a personalized search in which a website algorithm selectively guesses what information a user would like to see based on information about the user (such as location, past click behavior and search history) and, as a result, users become separated from information that disagrees with their viewpoints, effectively isolating them in their own cultural or ideological bubbles. The choices made by the algorithms are not transparent
Kristen M. Watson's work focuses on conceptual installations and intuitive painting that begin with concentrated introspection and behavioral observation rooted in her study of spirituality and social psychology. Her art explores how thought, spirituality, and culture (currently digital culture) affect human behavior and relationships. See more at www.kristenmwatson.com