I'm Still Hear

Thomas Oliver
I’m Still Hear, 2021
Mixed media (1/4″ audio tape, paper and typewrite ink), framed, found box and phone. Framed works: 35 x 85cm (together), Box: 26 x 9.5 x 5.5cm.


Thomas Oliver’s I’m Still Hear (2021) draws historical observations together in three elements unified by a poem. A wall work uses threaded quarter-inch magnetic audio-tape to create its title visually in Morse code; a light box flashes the poem in code; and the poem itself is typewritten on paper, tracing the progression of meaning from ‘here’ to ‘hear’. Together, this group of works critique the nature of human communication since the invention of Morse code, noting a legacy that impacts the earth, and highlighting some of what we have surrendered (i.e., contemporary digital mechanisms allow a data harvest by commerce that is destructive of both human privacy and the planet). Conceptually resonant, I’m Still Hear traces the digital imprint of ours and previous generations, a reminder of the eerie ongoing presence of electronic pollution—even when humanity is no more.

Image: Courtesy of the artist and Onespace Gallery.