Category Archives: Artist in Residence

Jason Skinner’s art attack

Check out all of Jason Skinner’s illustrations as artist in residence for Tomorrow.

From news to features to investigations, the artist has helped animate our words in the past two years.

But just in case you haven’t been keeping up with all our content, we’ve pulled together a gallery of all our first artist in residence’s pieces so you can enjoy them in full.

And you can find out more about Mr Skinner and his work at his website.

All pieces are Creative Commons Licence – licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


Berlin museum collections: Moving into the future?

Museum collections

What do museum objects mean to visitors, curators and the original communities from which they come? Artist in residence Jason Skinner explores different meanings. Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

The current Ethnologisches Museum1 in Berlin, Germany, is home to 500,000 objects from world cultures but isn’t on the map available for one euro at the airport, courtesy of Visit Berlin. The guards and staff in each room of the galleries tend to equal or outnumber the visitors.

The sheer vastness of the collection combined with its present out-of-the-way location is one of the main reasons for the move, come 2019, to the centre of the city and the tourist expanse of Museuminsel (Museum Island).

Tomorrow visited the current home, in Dahlem, in the city’s leafy southwest, to find out what is in the collection and how it is already changing before getting a new home.

Collecting like a “vacuum cleaner”

Curators certainly hope to increase the number of tourists at what will be called the Humboldt-Forum in the Berliner Schloss2, the rebuilt residence of the Hohenzollern dynasty on Museuminsel. The Mitte borough island, just southwest of the Alexander Platz hub and a direct line down the Unter den Linden to the Brandenburg Gate has been the main destination for visitors since the reunification of Germany and Berlin. Dahlem has not.

Monika Zessnik

Monika Zessnik is curator of the North American collection at the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin. Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

Monika Zessnik, curator of the North American collection of 30,000 objects, says there were opportunities to consider the Northwest Pacific coast and Alaska indigenous communities from the perspective of the original collector, and also from the point of view of the modern heirs to the land.

The German-American anthropologist Franz Boas3 was one of many collector-donors who contributed to the Berlin collection, specialising in the west coast of North America in his early career. But the continent’s items are just a fraction of the half-million total. On top of the ethnographic and archaeological objects are 140,000 sound recordings, 285,000 photographs, 20,000 films and 200,000 pages of written documents, according the museum.

“The museum collected until the First World War like a vacuum cleaner – they took everything to Berlin,” says Dr Peter Junge, curator of the Africa collection.

The sheer number of items has largely prevented extensive research, he said. A curator at the Berlin museum began working on the 21,000 items from eastern Africa just two years ago.

Only a scratching of the entire collection is currently accessible online4, as researchers filter through decades of inaccurate information and colonial and European biases.

Ms Zessnik says many items only have the collector’s name on the label, not the person or group who produced it or what ethnic group it might belong to.

Dr Junge says in one example from the eastern Congo, objects sold to European museums were labelled as being from a particular ethnic group, when the word translated from Swahili means to “these primitive countryside people”.

“There are so many steps to do to decolonise [an] anthropological museum, even the Berlin one,” says Dr Junge. “When you try to individualise the producer of the objects, you get a totally different image because anthropological museums always contain this colonial construction of Africa consisting of ethnic groups and ethnic groups are closed systems which produce art and have a religious system or family structure.

“And this is a construction and this construction is still very vivid in anthropological museums and it starts with these small steps, to say, ‘This object was produced by a workshop in the Bamileke area’ [in Cameroon], but it was not produced by THE Bamalik, because this is a construction’. [These are] very small steps which are very important to decolonise a museum.”

The perhaps assumed story of European powers pillaging countries of their cultural heritage is not quite so straight forward. Items were produced in many instances for the visitors from aboard, the equivalent today of offering souvenirs to gullible tourists. Modern tourists can easily outnumber staff researching the history of objects, and those items outnumber the visitors.

Dr Peter Junge

Dr Peter Junge is curator of the African collection at the Ethnologisches Museum in Dahlem in Berlin, Germany. Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

Dr Junge says that in the case of figurative tobacco pipes from the Cameroon grass fields, collected during colonial times, many were never smoked. Similarly, masks produced before the First World War were sold in “huge numbers” to colonial officers and collectors.

“Because of course African artists, or village heads, easily remarked what was interesting on the market so they produced objects for museums,” he says.

“There should be a lot of research done to find out what was made for museums. The idea of making objects for tourists, collectors, is not an invention of the 20th century.”

The Berlin museum collections are not simply historical items “taken” from what are referred to by museums as “source communities”. Many of the larger items in Berlin are models of boats or totem poles carved in materials that would not match originals in North America.

Ms Zessnik said one of their collectors, Norwegian-born Johan Adrian Jacobsen, reported that “all the time they are just selling objects – he’s aware that he had already been too late to get the real indigenous originals”. And sometimes objects were made for him, not simply taken from indigenous people to a colonial museum.

Dr Junge adds: “This is also one of these post-colonial constructions, having on one side the evil European colonialists and the other side, the Africans or Americans which are passive and sitting in the bush after having produced a mask and then somebody comes and steals the mask.”

The world’s hoard of historic objects

There is no estimate of the total number of objects from other cultures in museums and private collections around the globe, but as details emerge and questions are asked, there can be clashes between the institutions and descendants of indigenous communities from which the objects were taken.

Sources: UK museum objectsIn April it was reported that the Zuni in New Mexico were seeking the return of objects from the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, France, and the Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin5.

The tribe has sought out ceremonial items more than many other communities, and has done so particularly from US institutions, which have a legal obligation to meet repatriation requests.

But many indigenous communities do not have the time or resources to explore historic collections half a world away, and many have more pressing concerns at home, particularly living conditions and health matters.

Dr Junge says the there is also rarely a fixed history of “source communities”, making communicating with and researching through modern nations all the more challenging.

“I think it’s a very European construction thinking source communities are something like homogenous group that have an eternal knowledge and everybody shares this knowledge, maybe some people more than other people,” he says. “They are part of historical processes.

“The traditional is not fixed – it’s changing. These simple constructions that there is a source community who knows everything and the objects are here and we just bring them together and then this is something like a healing process after colonial crimes – this is an illusion.”

Berlin has a track record of helping muddy the waters of history, hosting the Berlin West Africa Conference between November 1884 and February 1885, negotiating the future of the Congo River basin, home to many of the items in the city’s museum collection.

Humboldt Forum

The Humboldt Forum on Museum Island in Berlin is due to be finished in 2019 and will house the Ethnologisches Museum. February 2014. Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

Humboldt Forum

The Humboldt Forum on Museum Island in Berlin is due to be finished in 2019 and will house the Ethnologisches Museum. February 2014. Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

Many of the objects currently in Dahlem were never intended to move again from their current home, such as boats, and will have to be placed in the 590 million euro Humboldt Forum before it is completed.

Ethnologisches Museum

Some of the objects in the Ethnologisches Museum are so large they will have to be moved into the new Humboldt Forum before it is finished. Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

A guide to the projects admits “expectations are high” and themes of the new displays wlll be ‘”the present,’ “multiperspectivity’ and ‘the audience'”6. It will also feature visible storage, a now common approach in museums to show off more objects without giving the public any intimate access.

Dr Junge says the Humboldt Forum offers opportunities for the African collection, focusing on how the continent had much more contact with the globe long before its alleged “discovery” by Europeans. The Berlin collection includes Roman, Byzantine and early Islamic coins found in eastern Africa, as well as broken Chinese porcelain drawing a connection around the Indian Ocean.

The ethnology was a colonial construction of Africa as being a “counterpart to civilised Europe”, he says.

“It was more a projection of self-construction and we will focus on what is called entangled history,” says Dr Junge. “We will show how European history was very much entangled with African history.

“This is how we react to these post-colonial discussions, showing no longer that Africa is an exotic continent.”

Similarly Ms Zessnik says part of the process in developing the future of the collections is to “provincialise” Europe, demonstrating connections and the role of Europe during the period of colonisation, but also pointing out the connections that existed elsewhere [in the world – DELETE] long before and independent of Europe.

Visitors from around the globe might expect all the upcoming exhibitions to acknowledge the present; but bringing together people and objects of history is not simple.

Dr Richard Haas

Dr Richard Haas is deputy director of the Ethnologisches Museum in Dahlem in Berlin, Germany. Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

Dr Richard Haas, deputy director of the Ethnologisches Museum, says that even in cases where source communities work with the museum, the collections are so large that a few days is not enough to document everything.

He says the museum had a visit from two members of a tribe from central Brazil who were shown pieces from that tribe that curators hope to display at Humboldt.

“I asked them about these pieces – they couldn’t answer,” he says. “They don’t have the tradition. These pieces are 100 years [old]. They were curious to know some special things about pieces we are showing now, but they couldn’t say more than we have in our documentation because they are too young and the tradition is lost.

“If you work together with source communities, you have to know with whom you want to work who are aware of the tradition.

“In the case of Amazonia, we are expecting a group of Venezuelan indigenous people – this will be a project to. . . test to see if it’s possible to work together in the preparation or organisation of the Amazon exhibition in the Humboldt Forum.

“We try to do this but only in special cases. I think it’s not possible to do it for all exhibitions.”

Dr Junge says there are differences in the amount of contact with source communities depending on their role in their home nations. The bulk of the contact with Africa is through the King of Benin and the National Commission of Museums and Monuments, working with the “four or five biggest European museums”.

Talking to 200 former kingdoms would be impossible, and many would not be interested in working with museums. By contrast, there is more contact from North American and south Pacific communities, where indigenous communities “play an important political role within the country and they are also much more active addressing museums”.

“It’s impossible to write letters to every community,” he says. “In Africa, only our Benin collection we have these contacts. But this is for Africa still an exemption. The situation in Canada or Australia or New Zealand is completely different because of the political influence of these groups.”

He adds: “We have a lot of contacts and visitors. Many, many, many people come to visit the collection and they are very fond of finding all these objects here, but the discussion of doing joint exhibitions don’t play a big role in these discussions.”

Ethnologisches Museum

The Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin includes displays that curators say is intended to show the colonial constructions about indigenous people in North America. Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

"Downtown Vancouver"

The Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin includes displays of contemporary indigenous art. “Downtown Vancouver” is by Lawrence B Paul (Yuxweluptun), Coast Salish, 1987. Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

The films of Karl May

The Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin, Germany, includes a display of posters for films by the German director Karl May featuring the character Winnetou. The museum said this is to show the colonial constructions about indigenous people in North America. Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

Ms Zessnik says indigenous artists and curators at a Northwest collections conference in Berlin were invited to contribute to the Humboldt Forum but had more pressing issues.

“They said, ‘Well we have our own things to do. As long as you keep them in a decent way and everything, it’s fine with us’,” she recounts.

“A lot of critics say we don’t talk to them – it’s not always like this.”

She says the collection, largely from the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, can be presented as how people lived in the past, or with photos and film of the present, but there is “not one single right way”.

“Cultures are different and the working approaches are different and when it comes to all this new museology and post-colonial theories, it affects our work, but maybe not in this kind of very strict way,” she adds.

“I think it’s also more about transparency,” she continues. “You should tell the public what you’re doing, who’s doing it and why you are doing it.

“If you go to North American or the Dutch museums, there will always be who was the curator, who was working on this exhibition, etc – that’s what we for a very long time didn’t do. German museums after the Second World War kind of said, ‘We’re not political institutions’, which is of course not true; of course we’re political institutions because we’re constructing, well, not truth, but different opinions.

“And that’s what we have to make obvious, I think.

“There’s still a lot of things to do, but I think the interesting thing also in Berlin is that you have a lot of interest groups here, constituent communities you can work with. Not every group is interested to work with us and that is also what we have to accept.”

Moving towards the exit of the current museum’s home, there are film posters depicting the stereotypes of indigenous “Indians” of North America, colourful and animated but looking entirely dated. It is part of the task of looking back at the assumptions about the rest of the world and recognising the mistakes.

The number of objects, the way they’re exhibited, the role of today’s living descendants and the staffing and financial demands to put it all together are the invisible parts of the construction on Museum Island. That work remains behind the scenes in the quiet Dahlem site.

“Not every indigenous [group] has the same knowledge about objects still,” says Ms Zessnik. “I’m Austrian – if you asked me about objects here in the museum of European Cultures I wouldn’t be able to tell you about everything. So we need quite a lot of different knowledges. There are a lot of things still to be done, to be researched.”

  1. The Ethnologisches Museum, Berlin.
  3. A short bio of Franz Boas.
  4. Berlin’s online collection.
  5. NYT coverage.
  6. “The Humboldt-Forum in the Berliner Schloss: Planning, Processes, Perspectives”, published by Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, 2013, pg80

Why listening to Louis Armstrong could lead to riskier bets

Robert Smith and Louis Armstrong

The music of Robert Smith (lead singer of The Cure) and Louis Armstrong affect our lottery choices, with “happy” music prompting us to take riskier bets, according to research. Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

HAPPY music such as Louis Armstrong’s “St Louis Blues” can lead you to making riskier lottery bets, according to new research.

A study led by Freie Universität Berlin1 found sad music ranging from Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” to The Cure’s “Trust” and “Apart” prompted more conservative gambling choices.

Scientists tested how the emotions of volunteers were “manipulated” by music, random tones or silence when choosing between pairs of lottery bets.

Which would you gamble on, a 50 per cent probability of winning 3euro, or 15euro with a probability of winning of 50 per cent? Similarly, would you bet on a 75 probability of winning 7euro, or a 25 per cent chance of gaining 9euro.

The researchers found that after listening to a mix of music deemed “happy”, subjects made riskier bets.

Forty-one participants (28 women, 13 men, average age of 27) listened to happy or sad music, a sequence of random tones and to no music at all, each one week apart. Researchers then compared how often they chose the riskier lottery options.

The subjects sat in front of computer with headphones doing the tasks, listening to about six minutes of clips of the pieces, all without vocals, made up of either 12, 30-second happy music clips or six, 60-second sad music clips. All the music was selected through experiments in other research published in 2013. They included classic, Irish jigs, jazz, reggae, South American and Balkan music, while the sad pieces all featured minor keys, slow tempos or low pitch variation.

HAPPY (Composer (Artist) / Title)


Researchers wanted to test the effects of “incidental emotions” on decision making, such as from listening to music, as opposed to more dramatic stimuli, such as “losing a loved one”.

Participants chose their emotional state – for example, “I am happy” or “I am sad” – as well as other questions throughout the process. After the music, they had to choose which of two lotteries they would opt for, ultimately making 100 choices in each of the four sessions.

Sample lottery choice from "Music-evoked incidental happiness modulates probability weighting during risky lottery choices", published in Frontiers in Psychology.

Sample lottery choice from “Music-evoked incidental happiness modulates probability weighting during risky lottery choices”, published in Frontiers in Psychology.

The potential payoffs and the probabilities of winning were represented as pie charts, and options with a bigger risk offered a greater payoff.

Only at the end of the final session did participants learn how much they won and received it in cash, plus a total fee for participating of 24euro.

In total, the research is based on 16,400 choices (41 participants x 4 music or non-music sessions x 100 lottery choices).

Amongst the findings:

  • People chose riskier lotteries most often after happy music, followed by no music, random tones and sad music.
  • Participants were “significantly” more happy after the happy music, but this effect evaporated within 10 minutes.
  • Random tones had similar effects to sad music. But researchers pointed out that people were not sadder from listening to “sad” music, simply less happy.
  • There were no changes in people’s “calmness”, another measure during the sessions.
  • There was no difference in the choices of men and women.

The happy music made people more optimistic in judging probabilities. So, for example, a 25 per cent chance of winning might look more favourable to someone after listening to happy music, compared to someone listening to sad music or tones that made them less happy. They would be more or less averse to risk depending on their emotional state.

The study stated: “Even more intense changes in emotion might result in avoiding making a decision altogether and postponing it to less turbulent times. In contrast, people may be relatively unaware of the influence of subtle emotional changes on their decisions and hence may be unable to regulate it.”

The paper suggested further research could be done on eye movement and mouse tracking to see the psychological processes involved and also data from the brain.

Stefan Schulreich,2 a PhD candidate in “languages of emotion” group at Freie Universität Berlin (Arbeitsbereich Emotionspsychologie und affektive Neurowissenschaft), was the lead author of the paper.

He said: “Normally people are risk averse – they tend to avoid risk and go for sure options. We found that when people are in a more happy state, they tend to be less risk averse than people who are in a less happy state.

“Music was our means to manipulate emotions. I would argue this is not music specific.”

Mr Schulreich added that people should realise that “the emotional state you are in can alter your decisions when confronted with risky options, at least subtly”.

Dr N Will Shead, assistant professor of psychology at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia,3 said the German-led research added to existing work on the motivations for people gambling.

He explained that much of his research is also looking at aspects of “non-problem gambling”, and what people expect to get out of gambling, emotionally. Some individuals gamble with the expectation that it will relieve some kind of negative mood, while others expect gambling will augment a positive mood. A third group doesn’t expect either to happen, explained Dr Shead.

He said the clinical definition of gambling has now changed, from “pathological gambling” to “gambling disorder”, with the criteria for diagnosing the condition switching from gambling to escape, to gambling to relieve distress.4

Dr Shead said: “It seems to be pretty good research. It adds a little bit to the research because it suggests another thing that could be potentially explored in a clinical population, which is always good – it’s always good to have this kind of research to work off of.

“We do know that people who have this expectation that gambling will relieve some kind of negative mood, such as feeling depressed or anxious, that those individuals are more susceptible to gambling problems. One of the hallmarks of a gambling disorder is to gamble in order to relieve this negative mood. In the study I did, I would have predicted that people who gamble to relieve this negative mood would be more likely to make risky choices. But when I compared the different groups on how they made choices on a risk taking task, the people who tended to have this expectation that gambling would augment a positive mood, they tended to make the riskiest choices.”

Dr Shead said that matches with the Freie Universität Berlin research, though they approached it from different directions.

He added: “It’s kind of interesting to see it kind of confirms that relationship kind of exists between wanting to experience some kind state of happiness and making risky choices. There seems to be something inherent about making riskier choices and having a positive mood.

“The problem that arises with certain types of gambling and gambling patterns is when people spend too much time gambling, when they’re spending money that’s beyond their means and they lose control over that gambling. That hasn’t been shown in this research. It’s not suggesting that people are losing control of their gambling when this music evokes happiness in them. It just shows that they’re making riskier choices, which I would argue isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“When it comes to gambling, it’s not necessarily maladaptive to be making riskier choices. From an economical standpoint, [the choices] could be perfectly irrational.”

Dr Shead’s current research is considering variables that can be manipulated to dissuade people from gambling too much.

“Music-evoked incidental happiness modulates probability weighting during risky lottery choices” was published in Frontiers in Psychology.5

  2. Schulreich profile.
  3. Dr Shead profile.
  4. American Psychiatry Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSMIV and DSM5
  5. Find the full paper here.

Mr Smith goes to Washington – but why?

Mr Smith might have gone to Washington, but he is increasingly unavailable for comment.

“Mr Smith declined to comment.”

“Mr Smith did not reply to queries by email.”

“We would rather not venture into that.” This last one was from the press officer at a university full of supposedly independent experts. None was willing question a governmental press release.

If press releases can’t be questioned, if elected officials won’t be interviewed and only issue statements, if Mr Smith won’t comment to the press, how can journalism exist? Is it even the same journalism anymore?

Increasingly, with lines blurred between reporting and comment, most high-profile individuals and official bodies (corporate, governmental or otherwise) know that they don’t need an independent press. They need merely issue statements, run campaigns and cater to followers who will agree with stated positions or campaigns before they even come out. The answers are prepared so questions don’t need to be asked.

News vs journalism

Artist in Residence Jason Skinner is exploring the difference between “news” and “journalism”, where news can sometimes just be a fragmented, quick summary, limited by particular mediums, versus the whole picture that journalism can offer.

Why should readers or the public care? The citizenry should always the institutions in society. They should also question the media and how much is or is not dictated to it by the institutions in society. It is too easy to compare press releases to news coverage in many markets. Sometimes those stories are minor and do not need much questioning. Others hide agendas or contradict positions.

As a news organisation, Tomorrow holds accuracy as a principle second only to our freedom to speak. That speech is harder to justify if inaccurate, and stories are less accurate if key parties don’t speak. But all the subsequent principles on our list require us to report. So, where is the cut-off point?

It is getting harder to get individuals to speak unless they feel in control of their own message. Years of media scandals have made that understandable. But a world where nobody answers questions will only breed a world where nobody asks them. That will suit many of those in power and those who are complacent (principle 5). But it does not suit the community. The comfortable in society want an unthinking citizenry. If nobody asks questions, if nobody is allowed to asks questions, everyone switches off.

On a practical level, for each story, Tomorrow must determine the point at which a story is accurate enough to run.

Too many media outlets, assuming a public lust for immediacy, will run without all facts or all sides of a story. Alternatively, no news organisation should wait forever.

Most recently, a key organisation has not replied to phone calls or emails requesting comment. After four weeks without answer, Tomorrow must now find alternative voices that will, and acknowledge in the story that “XYZ did not reply to requests to comment”. Our readers must then decide if that means something is being hidden and the story is less accurate, or whether they should bring their own citizenship to bear upon that organisation.

Reporters can ask questions and offer the community the answers or non-responses, as the case may be. But ultimately that same community also needs to ask questions and recognise the benefit of everyone sharing views and facts for the betterment of that community.

Tomorrow doesn’t tell readers how or what to think – we want you to ask questions just as we ask questions, and get answers.

It’s fine for Mr Smith to issue a press release that he’s going to Washington, but sometimes he will need to answer the question from both reporters and the public: “Why?”

Nelson Mandela death – an artist’s tribute

Artist in Resident Jason Skinner has created images paying tribute to Nelson Mandela, who died on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95.

He writes: “I was eight years old when Nelson Mandela was released from prison. It was international news. He was being hailed as a hero and inspiration. They tried to teach us about apartheid and the reasons for Mr Mandela’s arrest.

“It didn’t make any sense to me that a person could go to jail because of the colour of his skin. It made less sense that a person could go to jail for 27 years because of the colour of his skin. It also didn’t make sense that it was a national security problem that this man stood up for himself and millions of others because they deserved to be treated equally.

“What made even less sense to me, being eight at the time, was that Mr Mandela was not publicly angry about being imprisoned for 27 years, for what I believe to be no reason whatsoever.

“Now, 22 years later, it still does not make much sense to me that Mr Mandela was not angry, but I am humbled by it. His strength, courage and capacity for forgiveness were gifts that my generation were lucky enough to witness.

“In this illustration I wanted to show him looking out from his cell at Robben Island – inspiration partly taken from a famous photograph taken by Jürgen Schadeberg. I wanted to show him catching rain with his open hands. I think open hands are a sign of peace, hope and welcoming.”

Nelson Mandela 1 by Jason Skinner

Nelson Mandela 1, by Jason Skinner, Artist in Residence. Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

Nelson Mandela 2, by Jason Skinner

Nelson Mandela 1, by Jason Skinner, Artist in Residence. Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

What are your memories and impressions of Mr Mandela? Have you created your own artistic tributes? Please share them with us.

Tomorrow appoints first Artist in Residence

Jason Skinner has been named Tomorrow’s first Artist in Residence. He will produce original illustrations and artwork to complement our news, features, investigations and other content, as well as helping us deliver our core principles and building community through news.

He describes his first piece for Tomorrow as speaking “to the ability of mobile communication technology to completely engulf us, block out the hustle and bustle of the world around us and entrap us in a situation that could be miles away. The figure in the piece has a sad/upset look on his face as he stares into his phone, meanwhile all around him the world wizzes by”.

Phone Stop World, by Jason Skinner

“This piece speaks to the ability of mobile communication technology to completely engulf us, block out the hustle and bustle of the world around us and entrap us in a situation that could be miles away. The figure in the piece has a sad/upset look on his face as he stares into his phone, meanwhile all around him the world wizzes by.” – by Jason Skinner, Artist in Residence. Creative Commons, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported

Jason was born just outside of Toronto, Ontario, and trained at Sheridan College before moving to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he is currently based. During time with NSCAD, where he is an instructor, he was an artist in residence based in Lunenburg and has had a number of exhibitions throughout the province and elsewhere in Canada.

Find out more about Jason at