'The Possibilities of What's Familiar' (2021) Cat 5 wire, electrical wire, aluminum. Robyn Sanford. Courtesy of the artist.

‘The Possibilities of What’s Familiar’ by Robyn Sanford @ La Tierra de la Culebra

May 30, 2021

In a mild return to normalcy at the tail-end of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the Art Park at La Tierra de la Culebra hosted a festive outdoor gathering which showcased a commitment to a world of always increasing positive opportunities. It showcased, in a word, hope. And the paragon of such a sanguine purview, amidst the bucolic clandestine rolling hills of the Northeast Los Angeles neighborhood of Highland Park, was an artwork that testified to humanity’s ability to overcome whatever ardent obstacles are in its path, however microscopic, with the advent of the technical limits afforded to us by the machinations of the mechanicians of the past one and a half centuries.


Indeed, the boon of technological wiring and entanglement, which has certifiably lassoed the human race since James Watt’s steam engine became prominent within the island of Britannia towards its nascent personal technological affordances, has been a double-edged sword. It has permitted humans to gather and unify like never before, whilst also doing so in scales of destruction otherwise unrecordable in civilization’s history. We are left then, as always, to evaluate, to judge, how should we accord ourselves given the possibilities of fate?


The Possibilities of What’s Familiar by Robyn Sanford chimes in, as the sweetness of ethereal heaven is wanton to do, with an affirmation in our ability to everlastingly persevere. The intentional construction of a ladder into an arboreal refuge is testimony to the ability for humanity to continually judge its circumstances to be extending in the right direction. This is not an aim, in other words, to demonize the electronic waste and metallic sewage we might otherwise perceive ourselves to be swimming in, with such unrelenting thirst for electrical power towards mindless ends of envy, pride, lust, vanity, and greed – in other words, towards self-inflicted misery. Instead, we are affirmed to view these cords not as encumbrances, but as celestial tethers which permit us the ability to climb to the heights of terrestrial Paradiso.

‘The Possibilities of What’s Familiar’ (2021) Cat 5, electrical wire, aluminum. Robyn Sanford. Courtesy of the artist.

The decision to make the climb, however, and its daunting task of not being fearful of the escalation, is one that forms the gradient in mankind – from that which enjoys the excitement as an act of cosmogenic expansion of ourselves versus being enslaved to the dread from the effort that is still required to lift us off the dusty world. The accommodating Los Angeles weather sincerely provided a helpful gesture of encouragement by saying yes to the possibilities of a better world of tomorrow.


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