Sara Salass stop being a dick, 2018 Materials: Laser cut acrylic, rhinestones, wood panel Dimensions: 28.25 x 6.25 x 2.25 inches Installation: Wooden French cleat hanging hardware included; TEXT MESSAGE SCULPTURE SERIES "My artworks explore the psychological and emotional contours of hookup culture, social media, and the objectification of women. I am very interested in the ways that sexual politics have changed in the last 10 or so years. In particular, my personal experience and research has drawn my attention to the ways in which social media profoundly impacts women‚Äôs interactions with their own bodies. My work is highly discursive, as it draws on the textual and linguistic patterns that occur on social media. I try to mimic the tone and attitudes often seen on Tinder and other dating apps and social media platforms in the language I use in my work. At the same time, I try to intensify and distort these patterns in order to call attention to the darker undercurrents of online sex culture. Overall, I try to exploit tensions in order to create a dialectical interplay between sex-positive thinking and the more tumultuous experience of self-criticism and self-doubt around one‚Äôs own body. I feel that these polar opposites are both equally strong forces in online hookup culture. I don‚Äôt aim to resolve the tension between these competing forces. Instead, I want to encourage audiences to occupy a space of discomfort as they explore how these forces run up against one another in a physically charged way. My text message sculptures are a more straightforward depiction of hookup culture and digital communication. These pieces are univocal, at least at the surface. But at the visual level, they represent the collision of two competing threads. First, there‚Äôs the devil-may-care celebration of casual sex, reinforced by the use of rhinestones. But at the same time, the larger-than-life, imposing nature of the image calls attention to the dominance and possible exploitation behind these familiar phrases. In the end, the audience occupies a somewhat oppressed, passive position, and has to grapple with the contrast between the glitzy aesthetic and the political undertones."