Vaughnda Johnson, Chicago, IL - February 2004

mixed media installation

There’s No “I” in Team

For millions the corporate office environment is the new source of the"quiet desperation" Thoreau was pondering over 100 years ago.  Desperation making a huge success of the cartoon Dilbert and the cult movie Office Space.  Many a cubicle across America has a trinket or a cartoon clipping expressing underlying anger at mismanagement and layoff fears, not to mention paper jams and computer meltdowns. 

This project is part of a repeating theme in my work exploring the repressive institutional aspects of the office environment. The language and equipment depicted inside the coffee cups create a landscape of office life that is simultaneously mundane and absurd. The coffee cups paired against the drawings broach questions that I ask myself while I work in my own office job: Why is office daily life approached as seriously as it is? How does an individual cope within the corporate environment and maintain their humanity and sense of importance? 

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