The world today is louder than it has ever been before. With social media, emails, a never ending news cycle, and countless other notifications coming from the little computers in our pockets, people have to try harder than ever to quiet that noise. And according to Samantha Rose Stein, who spoke about art as the highest form of hope at Miami’s most popular popup Gallery, TFAPOPUP (“The Fearless Artist Popup) at Miami’s Art Basel this past year, we need to be more “present.”
Stein is attempting to cut through all that noise with her artwork. Centered around themes of mindfulness and consciousness, her artwork engages the viewer with calming visuals that absorb them in the somatic experience that color provides.
Art Education In a Digital-Less Age
Born in Minnesota, Stein grew up in a household that taught her to value the arts from an early age. With parents that met in art school, Stein spent much of her childhood going around to different museums and the studios of artists that her parents were friends with.
Although she did not begin creating works of art until later in life, an appreciation for art is a value that she has carried with her throughout her life.
After college, Samantha embarked on a globetrotting career that took her to countries all over the middle east and to different cities around the United States.
Over the past decade Stein has led a prolific career in tech, working for early-stage startups all over the world and starting her own company — Hactivision, a company where she organized hack-a-thons with technologist that were aiming to create “tech for good.”
This unique perspective on the digital age has provided her with valuable insights on the shortcomings of contemporary society and ways we can address them.
In an interview with Grit Daily, Stein emphasized that nexus, even hinting at technology’s risk of being used as a digital weapon:
In this turbulent world that we all live in, Stein continues to encourage patrons to be more “present.”
That being said, she is definitely an artist with an exciting future in front of her that we should all be paying close attention to. Polymaths like her are on in a million and her unique life experience provides us all with an invaluable perspective on life through her artwork.
“The startup scene’s inextricable link to capitalism has shown me really clearly what a lot of people are seeing now,” Stein explained, “which is that technology is a tool and all tools can be used for either good or bad.”
“We have to be really critical about what we’re releasing into the world and what ethical standards we use. Right now it’s legal to create these super addictive games and social media even though we know that it’s reeking havoc on peoples’ minds. A lot of new technology by nature will be corrupted because capitalism isn’t geared to serve the greatest social need it’s there to serve whatever will extract the most dollars. The crux of my work is how do we get people to calm their mind and feel connected to something greater than themselves. All of my work relates to consciousness and to mindfulness and to how do we eliminate the ego through our sensory experience.”