Kathy Halper's work mirrors adults' ongoing fascination with youth culture, imbuing it with today's hyper-social-networked edge. Marshall McLuhan predicted the advent of the Internet, suggesting the future of living in a global village that acts and reacts to the pulse of culture. He notes that it is not adults, but rather youth that instinctively and intuitively understand this type of "electronic drama." This is where Halper's work begins. Creating embroidered drawings from photographs of adolescents that she finds on social networking sites, Halper's work questions the disappearing space between public and private online, the subversive use of fabric, needle and thread, and the role of technology plays in shaping adolescence. Her work questions the ways we look, observe and connect with the youth of today, and stems from both her personal experience as a parent, a love of the homemade, and an awkward relationship with the Internet.
Excerpted from the exhibition essay by Alicia Eler