Coined by Tor Nørretranders in his book The User Illusion, the word “exformation” refers to explicitly discarded information. When two people with a shared understanding or experience communicate, there is a vast amount of information that is left unsaid and only implied. Shared context provides the meaning. Shorthand messages and suggestive body language can speak volumes about our thoughts or intentions, while an even greater subtext lies beneath. Art itself contains loads of exformation. In order for the artist’s intended meaning to be understood to the fullest by the viewer, there is an unspoken understanding that both artist and viewer have a repertoire of experiences, references and cultural insights which overlap.
In a time when we are not only bombarded with incoming information, but constantly sharing our own private information through our ever-connected devices, the idea of information purposefully left out is something worth exploring. The public lives we live online are not the full picture of ourselves, but is that the narrative that will be left behind when we’re gone? What’s underneath that shiny layer of Instagrams and Tweets? What is being left unsaid? And what is the story of ourselves that we really want to imprint on the world?
This collection of work by Jessica Wolf addresses these questions by use of paper, wood, metal and other found bits and pieces to illustrate glimpses into the stories untold and the words unsaid. The element of technology has also been introduced to a few of the pieces with the incorporation of QR codes. These interactive pieces invite the viewer to use their own device to scan the codes for links to online content, both original and found. Look closely and you might find some hidden messages.
Wolf is a paper crafter and artist who has gone from student, to package designer, to business owner in the last ten years. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts under her belt, she went to work in the package design industry for about six years. In 2009, she branched out to start her own business, Paper Acorn, which provides custom wedding decorations, gift packaging and home décor. Even when not running her business, Jessica is always busy making things, including mixed media art. She loves to combine paper with wood, metal, string, nails and other found objects, excited to discover new ways of creating.