I Love You

I Love You

See also the videos I Love You Queens and I Love You Belfast

My first work led to exploration from a very personal search for meaning as a result of the death of my mother. I used various abstract and expressionist techniques, and the words “I Love You” as a constant, to deconstruct the meaning of love for myself now that my deepest source of love was gone. As an abstract word, ‘love’ is individually understood, yet connects us having an energy of its own. The work revealed numerous individual interpretations from viewers and expanded the meanings of love. I was limited in personal experience to fully understand this energy and connect to new meaning. I needed to involve others. I started working with video, a film using 250 people all simply saying “I Love You”. Simple in concept, the effects were profound. Each person’s face and energy changed upon release of the words. It was as if the words had a life of their own. It was apparent that it was something needing release. I understood an urgency to reveal and inspire meaning, to find new ways to connect and communicate.

In March 2010, I came to Belfast to work with Anthropology Students in the Module Love, Hate and Beyond. The result was two videos, I Love You Queens and I Love You Belfast.

Rudolf Steiner, founder, Anthroposophy, saw a need for spiritual connection in a “materialistically minded age”[1]. In today’s society, I would add a “technologically minded age”. Modern technology is affecting our connection with each other’s energy or spirit. As social animals we rely on our senses to survive and connect. We are being de-socialized or, perhaps RE-socialized by technology, which removes the sensory experience of human connection. Like the process of deconstructing word meaning in my work, sensory connection is reconstructed in art to form new meaning, inform and remind us of our very real emotional needs both individual and collective, and the very human condition.

The next phase of my work, “I Love You Over and Over, Too”, (2007) is interactive, a monitor playing the original film faces another monitor playing a fresh recording of someone saying “I love you” taken in an adjacent space. The intention is for the video version of the original film to generate an emotional response in its viewers who would then in turn be motivated to record their own “I love you.” In this interactive piece, these recordings, the old and the new, are in conversation with each other through facing monitors. Everyone who participates is affected, some laugh, some cry, many just “feel” better, but ultimately the installation is a statement about the disconnect relative to technological interaction. An interactive website was a natural extension, expanding the project’s depth and scope. (2007) www.iloveyoueverywhere.com The work took on a shape of its own, growing and changing as a result of the different emotional energy of participants and the translation and interaction via different forms of media and technology. In a sense, the energy itself is now the art. 

It is my intent to further this work using emotions, words and interdisciplinary media by continuing work with the public at large and collaboration with like-minded individuals and organizations. As Tolstoy puts it “art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that other people are infected by these feelings, an also experience them.”[2]

[1]   John F. Moffitt, Occultism in Avant-Garde Art: The Case of Joseph Beuys (UMI Research Press Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1988), 109.

[2] Tolstoy, What is Art? Trans. Aylmer Maude (London, 1899)