Birdy McCray

The influence of technology on contemporary society has deepened divides in communities across the globe. We witness news outlets, social media, and digital technologies impacting the way we perceive information and interact with those around us. The role of these technological advancements has left the world skeptical of their use for the betterment of our world, but my work explores the immense potential these technologies possess for healing rather than destruction. Through videos, projections, and installations, I confront our understanding of technology’s limitations by manipulating our perspectives on the conflicts burdening today’s society.

My work addresses the quest for catharsis in dealing with the traumas and inherent anxieties of the world. I utilize contemporary issues that have personally impacted my life to create a larger universal commentary that allows my viewers to gain new and opposing perspectives. As I dissect these matters, I bridge the divides of political, cultural, and societal dichotomies that keep our communities in conflict with one another. In doing so I quell my own internal turmoils and promote overcoming the perpetuated hate disseminated through today’s media and digital platforms.

In my recent works I have translated this artistic methodology to tackle issues of the consumption of meat and the tumultuous nature of politics in the United States, where I experienced the cruelty and belligerent nature that ensues when debating these topics. I watched these conversations dissolve from issues of morality to a competitive yearning to be the possessor of absolute truth. The lack of omniscience in the human race makes the feat impossible, and yet we are still driven to possess it. The advent and rapid progression of technologies has left us with the illusion that absolute truth is within our grasp. This notion has been weaponized to fuel the conflict that keeps humankind from uniting behind truth, beauty, and experiencing the world around us.

Through my videos and projections, I toy with language to create these alternate views of contemporary issues. I utilize sound bites, often from famed modern politicians, alongside video installations. I have collected testimonies from individuals I have interviewed and translated their words into reimaginations of their answers. The underlying themes are accentuated through a vibrant, often neonic, palette that catches the eye much like consumerist advertisements and digital media use to sell products or promote an opinionated viewpoint. Other bodies of work undermine the popularity of the internet GIF, transforming these time looped moving images into a critical commentary through the inherent humor and recognizability of this growing digital visual language.

The foundation of my artistic practice is to investigate the subjects that divide our communities. Through video, installations, and time-based mediums I leverage technology to reframe the issues. As I reclaim these mediums from their status as an agitator, I reveal their ability to be a form of individual and collective healing. As I continue to take on the role of a digital assembly artist, I heal my own personal outrage and provide an alternative voice to help others in these times of extreme separation.