Are we made out of cables? Why is my head hurting constantly? I want to feel comfortable with the speed of my life, and not be driven by the pace of technology. Who or what is controlling the speed of life? Robots? Chargers? Am I still in charge of the speed of my own life? I worry about the impact of all this, and wonder whether the fundamental building blocks of my being – 23 pairs of chromosomes – are being affected?
Our lives have become a tangle of cables for various devices – smart phones, ipads, laptops…This work is a reflection on how we have become so dependent on devices in our daily life, and the phenomenon of how our lives almost go into meltdown when we lose our connection to the internet, or our phone batteries go flat. It has led me to wonder how we recharge and reconnect as human beings. What connections are we losing to those closest to us, by being continuously connected via devices?
The concept for Healing Chromosomes arose from Tango’s fascination with wires and cables, how they are made, and how their tiny filaments can be spliced and manipulated. Beginning with an iPhone cable, she soon began collecting unused cable from friends for the project. Working with the various strands, Tango imagined the cables to be like our DNA.
'This work is about my search for the invisible life line. We are bound by cables and our fragile and complex attachment to technology. What is this dependency doing to our mind, soul and relationships? I am concerned that we are changing dramatically, even at the epigenetic level.' (Hiromi Tango, 2017)
The work builds on her ongoing investigation into scientific concepts, and our emerging understanding of epigenetics – how changes to gene expression can be influenced by our environment and interactions. The work questions whether our obsession with being constantly connected to technology might be causing changes that are impacting our psychological and physical well-being?
Reflecting on her growing uncertainty about how to teach the next generation how to relate to one another, and what we are teaching our children about priorities and life’s purpose, Tango questions the wisdom of how dependent our daily lives have become on technology. She states that we are animals, yet so reliant on electronic devices. Her hope is that we as human beings are making the right decisions about how we engage with technology – that we have control over our minds and spirits, and learn how to engage with one another on a deeper level, at a natural speed.
Healing Chromosomes seeks to unravel this tangled web, seeking to create new connections and order out of chaos. Carefully constructed using colours from the healing palette, Healing Chromosomes take the form of the double helix structure, its flowing lines creating a new kind of script for the building blocks of our beings.
This work represents both a practical effort to slow down and repair the damage we might be doing through interacting with our environment in a different way, as well as a sculptural imagining of what our changed genetic material might be evolving. It invites the question – if we know that over-dependence on electronic devices is doing us harm, can we counteract the negative impact by focusing instead on objects and actions that engage our senses in different ways?