Cameron Buckley is a Memphis-based media artist working in as many different mediums as possible. He is the Assistant Professor of New Media and Photography at Arkansas State University. He co-founded Paper-Thin, the virtual art archive.
Nothing in our world actually touches. Two electrons will hover around each other, endlessly dancing unimaginably close yet distant, like teens at a church dance. It’s only by realizing the absolute separation of all things in our reality can we begin to understand our context in this space, and art’s function and relation to ourselves. We danced and performed with shadows by the cave fires to create worlds beyond our own. We wanted the performances to be remembered, so we painted them on the walls. We wanted the paintings to be immortal, so we made museums to house them. But in all this preservation and exhibition we lost the dance and the shadow and the fire. The experience disappeared with the white walls and frames and placards. We act like these frames are portals to other existences, but we are just as distant from them as we are from our own reality. In the museum, the world is meant to disappear, and the work remains alone and decontextualized, like a film in a dark theater. My work is like watching a movie on an airplane, and you’re stuck in the middle seat. The child screaming next to you is just as important as the film on the screen. Where art movements and -isms find the next thing to sample, elevate, and preserve, I sit digging through the discarded, hunting for the rinds and peelings. I’m writing the apocrypha of our perception. I’m searching for all the little things we forgot about. The things we forgot we forgot about. But that experience, that memory, is still distant and impossible. I work in this contradiction. I fake it.