Lost point of origin
silver, copper, bronze, vitreous enamel, found object, paper, mica, pearl, thread
7.6 x 7.8 x 3.2 cm
collection of the artist
I made this automaton pendant in response to societal changes in child-rearing that include embracing early exposure to technology and helicopter parenting. My hope is that childhood can still contain a sense of wonder and magic and connection to nature in this ultra-disposable, consumer-driven, success-oriented, digital-media-entrenched society. I believe that our future depends on it.
Tilt the early 20th century good luck charm that I replicated in bronze on the side of this pendant and its stalk-eyes extend outward. Turn the crank on the side of the playroom to animate the figures who play with simple toys from days gone by--a rabbit toy on wheels and a toy horn. A turn-of-the-century fortune teller is activated upon turning another crank. Can you see him through the darkened windows of his one-cent booth? What does he see as he gazes down into his crystal ball and then looks up into your eyes? Pull the paper fortune (with replaceable rolls) from the monkey's mouth; your fortune reads the flower is always in the almond...
Open the front door that exposes the playroom mechanism to find a hanging monkey and this quote from Rimbaud:
The wardrobe had no keys...it was strange!...And we thought we heard, deep in the gaping lock, a distant sound, a vague and joyful murmur...
Much of what constitutes childhood these days involves automation, adult supervision, competition and convenience, for a variety of reasons. There is little time for a child to daydream and wander--childhood today is purpose-driven, market-driven, and technology-driven. There is little room for imagination and curiosity, exploration and discovery, unless it is adult-supervised, and yet these qualities are what the future is made of.