I Am My Own Messiah 2006 - 2011 (2012)

This work is about my life with an untreatable illness, chronic fatigue syndrome, which has been greatly exacerbated by a long-term, severe adverse reaction to the antibiotic Levaquin. Every seriously ill person encounters great difficulty and frustration when trying to relate his or her experience. I used the highly mediated environments of the internet and digital technology to explore communication issues.

Full Description

I Am My Own Messiah consists of 6 audio pieces and an accompanying text, located at the vonhemmling.net website. This work was created holistically, with the themes woven through both the audio and text. Both should be considered to be equally important parts of the whole.

Sources from the everyday media of 2006 - 2011 (mp3s, Youtube, a streaming webcam, commercial text-to-speech software) were used to create the audio. A major theme of the work is being at the mercy of contemporary technology. When you have an untreatable illness you become keenly aware of the state of contemporary (medical) technology and the fact that common knowledge and technology is often brutally ugly, relatively low tech and mundane.

The text itself is also intended to embody the banality of a contemporary art practice (the artist's notes) and to reflect the prevalence of explanatory information/analyses available on the internet (and with things such as DVD commentaries).

Work metadata

  • Year Created: 2012
  • Submitted to ArtBase: Thursday Jan 19th, 2012
  • Original Url: http://www.vonhemmling.net/
  • Work Credits:
    • Jim McIntyre, primary creator
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Artist Statement

The principal ideas addressed in I Am My Own Messiah are empathy, including in the larger cognitive sense of perspective taking, and translation. I am interested in how experience can be (re-)created and communicated through audio and how this communication exposes the continuum of translation, from success to failure (with failure predominating). These ideas are supported with examinations of obsolescence, transience, distance and of the subjectivity and objectivity in art.

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