Crutch: a multimedia installation. by Stephen Anderson & Michael Diebner , August 2001

There is a phenomenon which is pervasive throughout our current American culture. This phenomenon is comprised of a seemingly infinite array of external stimuli, which dictates to the populous, an insurmountable laundry list of problems and questions, both personal and societal, as well as presenting the "solution" to those problems and questions. From magazines and books, television and movies, radio and 'workshops', every presentable form of media is used as a soapbox from which to present to us these problems that we sometimes didn’t know we had. But, just as important as the questions, are the answers that are handed out with them. In some cases it’s free, but in most cases it comes at a cost. It is the proverbial medicine show on a continental scale. 

Of course, this information in and of itself is not necessarily problematic. The danger arises when we as individuals become unquestionably accepting of these ideas, in addition to becoming dependent upon this information in order to lead our lives. It is the elimination of individual thought and self-diagnosis that is the real danger. The exercise of freewill should take precedence over the reliance upon the thoughts and actions of others.

It is our intention to visually interpret these ideas with the comparative and symbolic utilization of a "crutch". The iconographic use of the "crutch", both as a psychological and a physical support, helps to reinforce the idea that our modern society is unnecessarily reliant upon the external input of others. It is also our hope that the viewer leaves this exhibit with somewhat of a clearer understanding of the physical, economic, and psychological ramifications of relying upon this "crutch" in order to live what is considered to be a fulfilling life. 

As artists, we are the conveyers of information. The language we choose will be that of a sight and sound installation. Our aim is not to become preachers upon the pulpit, even though we are aware of the fine line we are walking. In the end, it is ultimately the decision of the audience whether to follow or be followed.

installation images

Front Gallery: 

mock storefront: nothing for sale, no brands

Main Gallery: 

25 crutches: spotlit

4 tvs, running same video, various source images, overlay with text

text on ground (answers)

overhead audio (questions)

Sentences on floor:

Earn the living you've dreamed of...right in your own dream home!

Never miss an orgasm again!

Have the life you always dreamed of with amazing insights from gifted psychics.

Along with her new cleavage comes the confidence to wear todays latest fashions.

Take control of your own destiny. Talk to your own personal and confidential psychic today.

Our board certified psychics ...will guide you and advise you.

you will have a full head of hair in 30 seconds!

...will change the way you feel about yourself every time you look in the mirror

you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth... rules alone shall you observe, and faithfully follow my laws... can make millions absolutely millions

It does everything you need it to do

with one phone call, you'll be on your way to the new you

You will love how easy it is to loose 10 pounds this weekend

everyone should know about this

Back Gallery: 

2 facing monitors:

left monitor-chaos, quad split screen showing info-mercials, commercials, ads, cosmetic surgery, news

right monitor-order, earth as seen from space shuttle slowly rotating

sand filling gallery, except for path leading into a circle

text on wall:

The grains of sand

within this room is estimated

to be .00021% of the 

total number of stars in

the observable universe

© 2022 Stephen Anderson