In her most recent and on-going body of work, Emily Hermant utilizes slow, hand-making processes to generate modes of representing the rapid movement and proliferation of digital information and communication in contemporary life. Among her aims is to address the tension between digital/virtual technologies and our desire for the intimacies and richness of tactile, slow experiences. Through recent sculptural works, installations, drawings, and prints, Hermant’s formal focus is to explore relationships among color, line, movement, space, and perception vis-à-vis the speed and motion of digital information.
For her exhibition “Searching the starry sky” at 4th Ward Project Space, Hermant presents a series of hand-rendered material drawings based on collected, layered images of meteor showers and night skies which have been infused with random glitches and unexpected spasms. The pieces in this exhibition are constructed from accumulated and stripped telecommunications and data cables culled from e-waste recycling centers—“useless” materials once tasked with carrying invisible information across vast distances. Hermant has meticulously repurposed this digital debris into a series of refracted and striated surfaces, whose clusters of individually colored wires map out and give dimension to shifting patterns of light and space. The exhibition’s title is taken from poet Stanley Kunitz’s “Halley’s Comet,” which touches on our notions of time, space, motion, childlike fear and wonder, and the textures and colors of transformation, love, and longing.