TJ Laggis ’17, among other student artists, has been crafting a piece of art for the Connecticut College-run “Body and Technology” exhibition taking place in early April in a downtown New London art gallery. As a graduating senior, this will not be Laggis’ first art competition. He has been honored by the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, in which he received the Continuing Education Award, his painting “Innocence” won the Wild and Untamed themed contest at Avondale Arts, and his works have been included in many more exhibitions.
Laggis takes the theme of body and technology as an opportunity for personal expression. Drawing from his interest in “spectacular works such as Tron, Interstellar, [and] The Martian,” Laggis says that he hopes to express the “seemingly opposite worlds” of the “natural and technical” as entities that go “hand-in-hand.” His piece, The Digital Frontier, he says, “centers around an astronaut who has detached his oxygen supply, beginning to float and drift from a world of technology into the deep void of space, representing one of the most beautiful depictions of solidity, peace, and euphoria.” These emotions are made painstakingly clear by the “interstellar traveller’s chakras” which are starting to “illuminate and align.” Since humans are almost always connected to the grid of technology, Laggis depicts a futuristic world lying beneath the astronaut, characterized by glowing, grid-locked lines.
Laggis’ piece focuses on the similarities and differences between the natural and technical worlds. He maturely says that since “we are constantly running from the beautiful, natural world and [allowing] advancements in technology [to] take us into a virtual, synthetically generated life,” we need to return “to a state of holistic and spiritual peace,” as depicted by the unequivocally free astronaut in his painting.
Laggis hopes to share his message with others through the medium of art. I hope to see his work displayed in the Body and Technology exhibit in April!
Colin Kronholm '18