Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
As an art history buff and sci-fi aficionado, I’m constantly thinking about the stories told of human progress, or lack thereof. Have modern humans surpassed their ancient ancestors or have they only managed to create more technologically advanced ways of carrying on with their same base drives for power, status, and violence? If we turn to popular media, this question becomes particularly intriguing. Our visions of the future are often just a confused jumble of the past; we reanimate old ideas and images when trying to imagine the things to come. An example of this can be found in Star Trek where explorers aboard spaceships encounter societies that resemble Ancient Rome or Nazi Germany while exploring the edges of the galaxy. Even when imagining new worlds, we keep returning to ones that mirror our own.
In my most recent work, I explore Retrofuturism, an atemporal phenomenon where the “future blends with the past.” I fuse ancient artifacts and futuristic technology within the same works. Cell phones are reimagined as ceramic tablets and robots are transformed into archaic stone statues. I take modern techniques like 3D printing, laser engraving, and silicon mold making, and combine them with ancient materials like clay, earth pigments, and plaster.
By making this kind of work, I can tackle the objects, ideas, and materials that I encounter while studying the past and daydreaming about the future. Giving form to this exploration allows me to reach a more nuanced understanding of Retrofuturism and why it affects us so deeply.
Lerner, Scott, "Time enough at last" (2022). Masters Theses. 900.
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View exhibition online: Scott Lerner, Time Enough at Last