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Flash Goddess
March 2003


Nathalie Lawhead
Blue Suburbia
Blue Suburbia
Blue Suburbia
Blue Suburbia

“Blue Suburbia”
Creator: Nathalie Lawhead


Artist Statement:

Lately I've been working exclusively in Flash, although my art background is in traditional media. I grew up with art and computers. BlueSuburbia started as a small Flash animation, the blue village at the beginning of my web site. I was playing with the paint tool; getting acquainted with Flash.
I fell in love with the program and started animating my poetry. The experiment is evolving with me. It is my experiment in finding common ground between art and technology.

I spent most of my life in Europe and moved to Los Angeles during my High school years. I experienced different cultures and their educational systems. My work reflects questions and observations I have about the contemporary educational system.

My conclusion is that schools are often violent places where students have few or no rights. More importantly, they are not encouraged to develop the skill of critical thinking which is the basis of any democracy. In general, children are trained to obey their leaders and simply become "human resources".

Having lived on the Balkans during the war I find myself troubled about the wastefulness of our western society. From birth on, children are increasingly fed medication to control their behavior only to be plugged into society and used for someone else's profit. Modern civilization seems to be obsessed with producing and consuming. I often think about conversations I had with the normal suburbia kids I met in school. One of the first questions I was asked by my peers in a prestigious San Fernando Valley school: "Are you an accident?" I often think of my conversations with them. These kids had everything but personal value and purpose. That's why my suburbia is blue.

Curator Review:

Blue Suburbia is a deep, interactive environment that allows the user to meander through its visual treasures. Nathalie Lawhead has created a world reminiscent of Tim Burton weaving ornate images and verse.

The piece is riddled with enigmatic vignettes, interactive poetry, and amorphous navigation. Fine attention has been paid to the details of Blue Suburbia. The mood is set by the style as well as subtleties in lighting, shadows, and motion. There are also a number of nuances in the interaction that truly set this piece apart.