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Table of Contents: February 2005

We live in a society saturated with images, information, and rapidly evolving technology. As an artist, one of my interests is exploring the way our accelerating culture affects who we are and challenges our perception of reality. My work both participates in and reacts to the chaotic, fragmented, and sometimes obsessive-compulsive quality that seems to pervade our lives. Weekly Pills explores pill-taking as a daily, ritualistic activity and the obsession to alter, fix, or enhance who we are physically and mentally. Today, you can take a pill for practically any ailment or problem—from relieving a headache, to boosting sexual performance, stimulating hair growth, or improving your emotional state. Pills satisfy our desire to control nature through technology and symbolize our longing to attain perfection and wholeness.

Weekly Pills is from the series Specimens, which plays upon scientific study to explore the relationship between physical objects and personal experience. For Specimens, I collected pills from people who shared personal narratives associated with each pill. Found images were integrated to illustrate individual stories, and the pills and images were organized into plastic pillboxes and embedded in a resin casting. The final piece functions as a type of specimen box, revealing cultural and personal implications and meaning.

Krista Steinke is a mixed media artist who works primarily in photography, video, new media, and installation. She received a B.A. in Advanced Humanities from Valparaiso University, with a minor in Psychology, a B.F.A. in studio art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an M.F.A. in photography and digital imaging from the Maryland Institute, College of Art. She has exhibited nationally, her work is included in many public and private collections, and her photographs have been featured on book covers. Currently, Krista is Assistant Professor of Art at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Image Credit: Krista Steinke (www.kristasteinke.com)

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