Apotheosis

2017

Laser etched relief prints, wood, Raspberry Pi, Adafruit Trinket

Apotheosis combines traditional printmaking techniques with digital technology creating a series of seven pseudo-religious icons dedicated to the veneration of American celebrity via Twitter.

The rule set for determining the particular celebrities is as follows:

*Dead at least 5 years

*Made at least 1 million dollars (or equivalent adjusted for inflation) in one year while alive

*American Born

*Considered a sex symbol

*Top 15 highest earning dead celebrities according to Forbes Magazine

Each celebrity is "paired" with a specific Catholic saint that reflects important aspects of the particular celebrity. (Ex: Michael Jackson and St. Vitus, patron saint of dance; Steve McQueen and St. Frances of Rome, patron saint of cars; etc.) The color schemes for the prints are based upon colors found in depictions of the associated saints throughout history.

Using the age and year of death of each celebrity, an on-line Spirograph app was used to design the nimbuses. The nimbuses were etched directly onto each print via laser cutters allowing light transmission. Custom frames house Raspberry Pi micro-computers which track Twitter for specific hashtags or "at" symbols (i.e. @Elvis, #JamesDean, @MarilynMonroe, #BettiePage, etc.). Each time the particular hashtag or at symbol is used on Twitter, a series of LEDs behind the print glows, illuminating the nimbus of the celebrity in a display of veneration.