Beth Springer

Artist Statement

My current work lies somewhere between romanticism and realism, an inquiry into place and identity as influenced by history, heritage, globalization, and the information age. We are living manifestations of our cultural heritage and genetics, but at times it’s difficult to trace what remains and if it matters anymore. Change is certain but not always obvious, which is perhaps why patterns are established to preserve some semblance of control and belonging, as if we could bridle something fleeting. The systems we inherit and affiliate with, the constructs we surround ourselves with, and shifting convictions of progress, purpose, and fulfillment subsequently epitomize our existence.

If it is true that globalization erases regional identity, then how does an individual’s perception of place and ownership change? If one’s sense of belonging were destabilized, would the tendency to exhibit human territorial behaviors, defending collective long-term interests be lost? In a society that is increasingly connected, is it possible to be lost?

How place is established, reinforced, and lost is referenced in my work through the juxtaposition of seemingly disparate historical and contemporary images, metaphors that often find ironic commonality through a quick online search. Often, I use search engines as a tool to interpret and inhabit the world beyond my own heritage and environment, pairing a simple word or phrase with a complex network of associations connecting semiotics, historical origin, consumer products, and contemporary fads. Ultimately, I see my work as experiments monitoring awareness in a constantly accelerating world.