Distracted World

by: Joseph Riggs

Distracted World helps to identify humanities establishment of incredible distractions that stray one from life’s path of natural beauty. Throughout the shoebox, many figures and certain structural pieces demonstrate the idea that one’s life is surrounded by obstacles and things that stray one from true happiness in this world. In this work labeled Distracted World, the combined
elements of the joker’s cards, colored paths, golden sun (background), and elevated world in the center come together to provide the meaning behind such a work. The world simply represents itself, but its elevation over everything else shows that everything else does not have the ability to destroy the natural world itself. It is people who choose to ignore the gifts given in this life. An important part, and ultimately the main focus of this shoebox, is actually centered on two playing cards found to the right and left of the bulldozer (has man on top). Notice each card is representative of a jester, defined as a person who is given to witticisms, jokes, and pranks. Ultimately, a joker is one who is set on affecting others with trickery and tomfoolery and their goal is to distract others from the task at end. Each card is placed at the beginning of the paths running towards the back of the bock around the globe. Because of the joker’s presence there, it is represented that each is tempting the character in the box to take either path. This choice is connected to the choices in this life. There are many things that try to distract one from seeing the world as it is, and due to the joker’s entertaining ways, one may think they are experience happiness and mirth when just behind such temporary joy is a path of hazardous obstacles. These paths are multicolored to demonstrate an idea of confusion and chaos, with items present on the paths that are dangerous and hard to overcome. The fool’s gold found at the beginning of the left path shows man’s desire for wealth, but how it “fools” him into thinking money is a greater good. Just as symbolic is the phone at the back right, which is there to show a path blocked by the consuming of technology. It may be noted the size of the case, representing how much this plays a part in the lives of people today, making it one of the most difficult distractions to get around. These distractions are keeping those seeking happiness from the common goal, life’s natural beauty. The bright background is littered with things that help one to experience nature’s gifts such as surfing the oceans and hearing the roaring peace of waterfalls, while the king makes the statement that one has ultimate power over himself once he overcomes the obstacles and distractions of this life.
Because this work is focused on the distractions within one’s lifetime, these can also be regarded as temptations best connected to the story of Genesis. Satin takes the place of the joker card in a way to where his goal is to lead someone down a path of hardship. However, if one simply looks up towards the heavens (elevated world and sun in background) they may be kept from seeing the trash below them and kept free from these unhealthy bonds. Looking up is one looking towards God, for is the only one who can save man from Satin’s trickery and false promises. There is also a small reference to the work of Brave New World in reference to the technology seen at the back corner of the box. This connects to the incredible trickery enforced by the government that everyone should be under another’s control. It is technology that makes this possible, so the phone represents the main character Bernard’s task of defeating the immense barrier of technological dominance to find life’s true gifts.
My items from the box ended up being very small. I got them from both a drawer in my room and upstairs. These were things I have not used in years and that also do not hold any significant value. I ended up keeping many things I thought were useful. My ideas for the central theme only came after collection of later materials to get a good idea for the box. The wrapping paper became a part of my box at the last minute, as it was being constructed as well as the sun in the background. The materials collected all had the same potential to represent life’s dangerous distractions.