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Lori Nelson | Mortal Machine Art Gallery | New Orleans

Continuing the adventures of my Cryptotweens, this latest series, Find My Friends, takes place in a parallel universe where the subjects are neither child nor teen, human nor monster, and are on the verge of discovering their own personal powers. What makes this series different is the increased imagery of technology. As tech becomes increasingly apparent in our own landscape, it becomes ever more so in the world of my characters.

Cryptotweens have always embodied the strange and beastly aspects of not only adolescence but also of humanity in general. My wish is always to portray the awkward and homely as possibly beautiful and embraceable, if only we can be brave enough to stare at our own monstrosity with clear unpolluted eyes. The series title, Find My Friends is derived from an app of the same name. The plaintiveness of this phrase strikes me as more symbolic than the programmers of this locating tool probably ever intended, capturing the motivation behind much of our technology use: as we dive deeper into our devices, we we want nothing more than to find companionship. In this spirit, I’ve delivered a small friend or familiar to most of my Cryptotweens, almost as if granting a wish.

This is a gesture of my hope that all of us, everywhere, will eventually find our friends.