In my New Media work, In Your Hands, I explore social opinions on gun violence. The participant is encouraged to pick up the larger than life pistol, aim the barrel to their ear, and press the trigger. When the trigger is pressed audio begins to play through a speaker inside the barrel. The audio track is from an interview of an individual recounting their personal experiences with gun violence. It is only by the participant willingly putting themselves into a dangerous situation by “shooting” themselves that they are able to listen intimately to this recounting of a traumatic event. By going through these motions, the participant is actively engaging in gun violence and is given a chance to connect with that topic in a new way. Additionally, other gallery viewers are able to stumble upon this intimate moment, unaware of the audio, and witness this gesture of apparent self-harm in a way that ties both individuals together in a new way. This allows gallery viewers the opportunity to engage in experiences that reflect our current social and political culture and to develop, express, and communicate their own ideas and opinions about the world with each other in direct and indirect ways.
Above is the audio file for the red pistol. Below is the audio file for the blue pistol.