'Tethered', 20" x 30" oil on canvas by artist and creative Jamie Berry

Tethered is a word that describes the linking of one device – such as a smartphone or a computer – to another so that they may share an access point to a network, be it a wireless network, a hard-wired network, or even a phone network.

This allows the previously non-networked device to enjoy access to all that the network grants using the connected device as a hub. It’s a simplified explanation of what constitutes the World Wide Web in the most basic terms. It is also true of the radio, television, and telephone networks of the past (my grandmother, a dauntless woman of the Great Depression, once confessed to me that the telephone scared her to death when it first came into prominence, at the time it was Voodoo of the highest order. Social networks consisted of gossiping over the back-yard fence in those days, and ‘The Grapevine’ was a potent tool).

After a period of time, the longer devices are connected to other devices, the more that they exchange information and contribute to the data pool, the more pronounced become the benefits of being tethered. Information is passed freely among them and is accessible to any other devices that have a point of access, creating a resource that is vast in its scope. There is no denying the power of a collective.

Tethered is also a term that describes the restriction of movement of one object that is tied to another, either literally or philosophically. Objects that are tethered in this manner eventually become entangled in a closed-feedback-loop, and though access to the information within the collective is free to any that are a part of the chain, no information originating outside of its points of access will be able to enter the stream. This eventually leads to entropy and the decay of the system itself – nothing can be recycled indefinitely, at some point everything must evolve or cease to exist.

In the modern world, we walk the line between these two extremes. Unfettered by the self-imposed, collective isolation of a closed-feedback-loop, connection can enrich our lives and broaden our horizons in ways we never imagined as we realize there’s truly no separation between us. Alternately, when we base our connection on false premises, prejudice, and alienation, it can take us over the edge of a cliff, one after another.

Each of us gets to decide which of these bonds we are creating, and whether our contributions are an invitation to expand or to explode.

'Tethered', 20" x 30" oil on canvas by artist and creative Jamie Berry

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6 Responses

  1. This is just incredible work! I love what you wrote too. Looking forward to more and the show! :)

  2. “Each of us gets to decide which of these bonds we are creating, and whether our contributions are an invitation to expand or to explode”

    I came across this site randomly. Very cool pic and description. Any such place to order a post card with the above description?

  3. Hello, William! Thank you very much. Currently that piece is not available in any type of reproduction, though that certainly may change in the future. If you’d like to made aware of updates please feel free to subscribe at this link: http://jamieberry.wpengine.com/get-email-updates/

    I update roughly monthly, so there’s no mailbox overload, and I never share information with any third parties. I’m pleased you stumbled across me, and I thank you for your kind words. :)

  4. I have the oil painting of this and I adore it!!!! You have no idea how much I connect with this painting and how proud I am to have such a beautiful piece of art adorning my wall in my living room! Thank you so much!

  5. I can’t tell you how you’ve made my day, Carrie! Thank you so much, I am ecstatic you like the painting. That is one of my own personal favorites from that period, it was a very special time in my life when I created it. To have it resonate with you is just a wonderful thing. All our best, and hey – I have a new series in the works. :)

    Also, that piece was featured in a magazine overseas last summer!

    Tethered Zine

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