by Peter Liversidge at YSP
Is it? I read EM Forster's novels years ago and my reading definitley did not do them justice, but when I was having an unhappy time at university I did take the 'only connect' message out of Howard's End to extremes until I decided that a few disconnects and dead-ends and gaps were probably better for my overactive imagination.
So when I saw this message at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park I didn't know whether to say 'yes', or 'no', or 'maybe', or 'rubbish', or 'those are nice letters and lights'. But after giving the matter some more mature thought, I've decided that many, many things are connected and that sometimes we would perhaps do well to recognise more connections. It took me years to see patterns in life as well as patterns in the visual world, and now I know how to spot them it's much easier to explain a lot of things and to understand why many things are as they are and how many things can be prevented.
This is very abstract, I know (blame the words above), but the connection to what I do here is that I am puzzling over all the connections we are making on the internet as opposed to connections in our lives. I will not go near Twitter so that world of millions of connections is shut off to me, but I've just begun to experiment with Instagram and, aside from the opportunity to mess about with photos and look at dozens/hundreds/thousands of creative images in a short time, it's also a way to make enormous numbers of connections very quickly. It's amazing really, but I do wonder if we would be better off connecting face-to-face and reading more books instead of suspecting that everyone else in the world is having a better, more more stylish, more beautiful life, and finding ourselves passing instant judgement on a picture by 'liking' or withholding our 'like'.
I'll carry on with Instagram and Facebook because they offer different ways to connect and I'll see how it goes. But deep down, I question what, if anything, it's all for. I enjoy a world full of connections, but I don't want to lose sight of the meaningful ones.