Ian F. Thomas
Yesterday’s Tomorrow 
ceramic, acrylic, coal, audio device, hired laborer
Yesterday’s Tomorrow presents an absurdist micro-portrait of Pennsylvania’s socio-environmental dilemma. A paid laborer, for unspecified reasons, rubs coal onto a ceramic hillock for six hours, lulled into numb complacency with generic beer and canary chirping on a digitized loop. The monotonous task completion outweighs need for cognition. This passive apathy infiltrates the gallery as patrons grow bored and increasingly alienated while the mound is gradually destroyed. The work’s clear metaphors spark both environmental/moral disgust and personal empathy, yet more contextually interesting is the painfully prolonged labor of cultural production, which was industriously ignored after an initial viewing.
~ Ryder Richards
images courtesy of the artist