THE INVISIBLE MAN
N. Sean Glover
In the Window
Artist N. Sean Glover takes over the SPACE window with a fresco meets robotic vacuum experiment. In a cycle of disintegration and sweeping, Sean’s installation will transform over the month it is on view and ultimately ask much larger questions about the role of domestic labor and standards of cleanliness in the 21st century.
Sweeping is a constant battle. It is interactions with dust, with waste, and in many aspects, sediment that is a historical trace of the domestic space. The history of sweeping and appliances made its most dramatic shifts during the 20th century. The early part of this century brought with it improvements in cleaning appliances. The success of these machines can be traced to a modern desire for cleanliness and sterility. As the 20th century advanced, these machines became faster and more efficient, thus enabling their users to invest less time cleaning and more time on other tasks. As the 21st century dawned, robotic cleaning devices became available. These autonomous domestic cleaners can be programmed to operate with no supervision. An algorithm enables them to seek and vacuum away all dirt in its path. The hand and the eye, once applied directly to all domestic tasks before the advent of electricity, is no longer necessary to complete cleaning duties. We are in a new era of hygiene. The loss of the human element in this domestic labor asks new questions that were never before possible. What does it mean for robots to clean what we do not desire to encounter ourselves? Can we ask the same questions of other autonomous objects and their tasks? Who defines the parameters of hygiene?
By studying the history of objects, one is able to uncover their awkward, unsuspecting, and provocative relations, their hold on our imaginations, their impact on our most intimate, as well as our most public interactions. How do the presence and the performance of objects resonate in tandem with our understanding of the past? Part of their history radiates from the sites where it is developed, manufactured, consumed, utilized, and ultimately disposed. They can also reveal the active and local labors of change located on site. I am interested in how objects can disclose the history of a place in transition and how they can reflect the arching structures that enact redevelopments of the landscape.
N. Sean Glover is a Boston based artist who was born in San Diego, CA. His artwork uses materials and processes, both new and old, to investigate questions about and the histories of objects, labor, and technology.
Sean has had the position of fresco instructor at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture since 2008 where he had attended as a participant in 2003. He has also studied fresco at the Lorenzo de Medici Scoula de Arte in Florence Italy. In 2005, he was a recipient of a Traveling Scholars award at the SMFA in Boston, which he used to live in Florence, Italy and San Francisco, California. In 2011, Sean received his MFA at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA and was a recipient of a Blanche E Colman Award in 2012 and an Artist Resource Trust Grant from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation in 2013. He has exhibited in San Francisco, Boston, Ireland, New York, and Miami. Currently, Sean is the Visiting Assistant Professor in the Sculpture Department at Maine College of Art.