Get to Know: Jillian Mayer

Interviewed by: Eliana Blechman

We asked Jillian Mayer a few questions about Slumpie use and the relationship between the digital and physical world. Read on for more...

Art-in-Buildings: Slumpies are presented as a humorous solution to the issue of accommodating the body's slump over a phone. While they are marketed as utilitarian objects, their clumsy bulk makes them impractical. What is the importance of this contrast between promise and reality?

Jillian Mayer: As art objects, I don't think they are impractical at all. In fact, I would even go ahead and say that they are generous for they provide a service.

Perhaps they might be considered impractical by strict design standards. As we live in a world of alternative facts, everything is true somewhere in this multi-verse.


AiB: Much of your work is video or digitally based, and the physical Slumpies sculptures were created as objects to accommodate user interaction with a digital world. How does a work change when it is viewed on a phone or computer versus in a gallery setting?

JM: You could think of a viewing experience on a computer or a cell phone as being more personal because of the closeness and privacy one can maintain while viewing the work. The opposite could be derived when a video is watched in a public space like a museum or a gallery. But in reality, 200,000 can simultaneously be watching that same video on their phones at the exact same moment. It is just an idea of privacy or exclusivity.

As with any environment, there are pros and cons to one's work being screened on devices ranging from perfectly calibrated theaters to crappy smartphones with cracked screens.

Just because I make work doesn't mean I have control over it. Ultimately, I am just happy people watch it. They will never ever have that time back in their life.

AiB: What is your relationship to technology and smartphones?

JM: <3 them.

AiB: You have advertised your Slumpies on billboards, posters, and are in talks with Sky Magazine. How did this marketing campaign develop, and how integral is it to the project?

JM: The marketing of the project is just as important as the offered art object, the Slumpie.

AiB: What's next for you?

JM: I have a short film that is premiering at SXSW called Foam Sweet Foam, and I am in a group show at PS1 MoMa in April.

Learn more about Jillian Mayer on her website!

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