TMI, 2016

Quilled book, model figure

Social media users often use the acronym ‘TMI’ (too much information) in reaction to an overload of information. But what might ‘too much information’ look like in physical form? TMI depicts a man confronted and overwhelmed by an encyclopedia thousands of times his size, almost foaming with information.

To the figure standing before it, the old encyclopedia in this work is unwieldy, unusable and dysfunctional. The book form is almost out of date, slowly and stealthily being replaced by digital technologies.

In TMI, viewers approach the work in a gallery environment. We know we are looking at an art work – a fact intensified by the barrier of the vitrine. We know we are looking at an ‘actual-sized’ book and a tiny figure. However, our familiarity with old books – the smell, the tactility, the memories evoked – combined with our innate ability to ‘put ourselves in others’ shoes’, causes an instinctive reaction. We know what ‘too much information’ feels like. We know this man’s despair and feel his pain. We relate.

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