Artist Jason Jaspersen brings us this animated image in response to the theme of Eavesdropping and Ecclesiastes 7:21-22.
Do not pay attention to every word people say,
or you may hear your servant cursing you—
for you know in your heart
that many times you yourself have cursed others.
Artist Curated by
22 for oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.
Technology connects us in amazing ways. The Spark and Echo project, for example, gathers people around the Bible and art in new and exciting ways. Skype gives grandparents an occasional fix while away from their little buddies. I can call my wife for clarification when I’m picking something up for her at the grocery store. Collaboration with colleagues and students has become easier with shared documents.
However, like anything else in this world, a good thing can be wrecked. The wonderful connectivity that tech companies like to show off in their advertising has a dark side. Especially relevant to this project is the idea of digging around in private information-eavesdropping. Eavesdropping manifests itself in a variety of ways today. Hackers mining personal information, governments monitoring emails or phone calls, hidden webcams, flying camera drones, and gps tracking all use today’s connectivity in intrusive ways. As the boundaries of personal privacy disintegrate and connective technology marches forward, I’m reminded of Jeff Goldblum’s character in Jurassic Park. He said, “your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
What happens when someone listens in on private conversations? In this artwork, a girl is shown holding a glass to a wall to hear better what is happening on the other side. She is not invited into the conversation, nor is her presence desired. Those are some of the factors that make her so intrigued. She listens intently. What’s happening in there? The artwork is an animated still with color morphs and flashes to signify the main character’s burning curiosity.
God has some advice regarding eavesdropping.
“Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.” Ecclesiastes 7:21-22 NIV
According to this verse, eavesdropping may lead to disheartening results. An honest self-examination will certainly implicate the listener. The message here is really that we’re not that different and there’s really nothing exciting to hear! You may become privy to some juicy gossip, but would it be any different if someone started digging into your life? Should anyone be surprised to find themselves insulted or threatened when digging into private matters?
Thus the artwork here provides a visual reflection of the main character. In a twist of the senses she listens to her reflection. The conversation she strains to hear is really her own voice. Perhaps the reflection is another person listening to her, perhaps she only hears herself. And maybe today’s prevalent voyeurism indicates a society of people trying to find their own identity.
So what do we get out of this? Some things in this life aren’t worth worrying about. Focus on how God has done good to you rather than on how others have wronged you.
Jason Jaspersen is a creative generalist working with a variety of visual media. His creative work honors both the weight of history and the thrill of the process. He’s interested in exploring Christian themes with traditional physical media such as oil paint, printmaking, and sculpture but doesn’t shy away from digital media such as motion graphics and animation. He often uses an expressive representational style to tell a story and highlight shared experiences. Jason lives, creates and teaches in his homey hometown of New Ulm, MN. Follow Jason’s studio process and projects at jjjaspersen.com