This internet language based artistís project was born out of an awareness of the word mother in nearly every public and private context I experience. From bathroom walls to skin, gravestones, greeting cards, engravings, illuminated manuscripts, and crayon drawings the word mother is held high, low, in between, to question, to hate and to heart.

Searching for Mother, is a search engine that allows for exploring the use and patterns in relation to the word and idea of mother. With a click on an investigative word of who, what, where, why or when, the internet is searched for the most recent blog, twitter and flickr posts containing the word mother. Each investigative word of who, what, where, why or when, pulls a different subset of other words in tandem or relation to the word mother. These individual searches help answer sometimes directly mostly indirectly the investigations of who mother is, what mother is, where mother is and why mother is. Repeated clicks on one investigative word will pull different responses each time. Searching for Mother is a time based piece. Each visit to the site will bring a different set of responses and will help grow a collective picture, definition and idea of mother as she appears on the internet.

I would like to dedicate this project to the memory of my mother in law, Carol Lepson. Without her unconditional support and care I do not know that I would have made my own leap into motherhood. For those gifts I am forever grateful to her. I would also like acknowledge and to thank my mother, Dorothy DeVries, for all of her years of caring and lessons she has shared with me.

Thank you to:
Dan Sakamoto, for all of his computer genius, good humor, ideas, and late night efforts.
Carmen Vendelin, for her curatorial vision and friendship.
Marc Lepson, for his critical eye, ear and support.
Dean Mary Schmidt Campbell, and the Tisch School of The Arts, for the grant funding to help build this project.

Searching for Mother was engineered and constructed by Dan Sakamoto.


Erika deVries, Fall 2009

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