TrIP Biennale Day 2: Disconnections by Stephanie D’Ercole

| By Stephanie D’Ercole |

It is apparent that we have begun to evolve with our digital devices. We are so involved with and dependent upon them that they have even become an extension of our own palpable experiences.

Anticipation and an emotional response to our devices’ notifications seem evident–how many of us have experienced the real phenomenon of “phantom vibration syndrome”? We often use our phones as an escape from idle time and a diversion from uncomfortable situations.

Has it become too uneasy to simply sit, unoccupied, while we wait for a friend or for the movie to begin? Or when someone excuses themselves from the dinner table? Where has the “dolce far niente” gone? It seems to take a resolute effort to set our phones down and enjoy the moment we are living in, without adulterating it by being tied up in the digital realm. Is the proliferation of over-connectedness to this digital realm deteriorating human connections in the here and now? Is our increase in global connectivity via smart devices ironically making us less connected to the world around us?

I made it my mission to disconnect for an afternoon and search for answers and inspiration on Central Florida’s SunRail train. As many creative endeavors go, my project morphed into something I hadn’t initially intended on–but it was a serendipitous evolution. I am working on a series of haikus and pieces of prose inspired by my trip and will be embarking on the same route again to leave them in various places for people to discover. They will be little reminders to unplug for a while and enjoy the present moment. And, in the spirit of rejecting electronic devices, they’re all being composed on a typewriter.

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