As I thought about the war in Iraq, it seemed as if the conflict wasn’t much more than a peripheral concern for many Americans, and so the idea of making images of war into decorative wallpaper or flooring, seemed appropriate. It is possible for the viewer to pass the design and register it as aesthetically pleasing yet innocuous if they do not move close enough to see the embedded images.
In America, eventually everything becomes wallpaper – mundane and occasionally seductive, but free of any real content. That which is newsworthy is distilled into short, digestible sounds bites while scandalous events or celebrity-infused gossip take center stage. This phenomenon is frustrating yet understandable. In the current political environment, sometimes you have to embrace distraction in order to remain sane.
Chelsea Cates received her MFA from Parsons School of Design in New York. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.