This piece depicts a character that is a mashup of a Roblox “noob” character as well as Mr. Matthews who is the geography teacher from the video game “Bully: Scholarship Edition” (2008). The installation examines the desensitization of teachers in regards to gun violence in schools. Teachers suffer not only the anxiety and paranoia that comes from the potential threat of gun violence to occur in the classroom but there is also a sense of responsibility for protecting students. The head of Mr. Matthews is a spinning wheel that contains 57 red flags representing that there have been 57 times more school shootings in the US than the other 6 G7 countries from 2008 – 2018. The red flags surround Mr. Matthews – constantly in his peripheral, always being reminded of what could happen.
The head is attached to a stepper motor. The program running the motor generates a random number from 0-342 (derived from multiplying 57*6) and spins that many steps clockwise; then generates a new number to spin counter-clockwise. The randomness of the numbers references uncertainty and the sporadic but consistent reoccurrence. An audio track including 57 of Mr. Matthews’ original quotes from the “Bully: Scholarship Edition” video game accompanies the sculpture. The audio track contains quotes such as “Good day everyone! I’m Mr. Matthews, your geography teacher!”, ‘’If only you could see the larger picture’’, “In some countries, this is a sign of respect”, “I’m losing my marbles here!”, and “Well I’m off to explore the world over the internet! Tallyho!” In regards to the utilization of the Roblox “noob” character, it is a culmination of reflecting the inexperience in dealing with these types of situations.
Mixed media installation
Dimensions: 95.5” x 60” x 11”
Collaboration with John Walker (www.johnfeeshy.com)