A series of texts sewn from ribbons and installed directly on the wall. The messages are meant to encourage mental habits that can increase happiness.
Unoccupied, the human brain defaults to chaos and negativity.1 The messages here, rather than promote mindless positive thinking, attempt to compensate for this negativity bias. According to positive psychologists Lyubomirsky, Sheldon, Schkade, and Seligman, a theoretical formula of happiness comprises hereditary and environmental factors, as well as voluntary action.2 In other words, individuals can take steps to increase happiness. These texts are reminders of such actions.
think good thoughts / fortify good attitudes and take charge of your happiness are both sewn from satin ribbon from two colors, and hung from multi-colored pins.
enthuse widely and often pairs three- and one-inch grosgrain ribbons.
hopexpectation, inspired by a contemporary Egyptian poet, uses glittery gold and cobalt grosgrain.
make space for unexpected positive revelations and hope for good, allow for even better both employ two layers, with flourescent grosgrain backing (with the exception of a Polish language variation of hope for good, allow for even better).
what have i added to the wealth of creation is a quote from William Blake. Produced for Happiness Is..., an exhibition at Montalvo Arts Center, it is intended to provoke the existential question of one's legacy as well as the wellbeing-improving quest to find purpose.
1. Jonathan Haidt. The Happiness Hypothesis. New York: Basic Books  28
2. Ibid. 91
all works: ribbon, thread, pins
think good thoughts / fortify good attitudes, 2011, 30 × 40 × 1 in / 76 × 100 × 2.5 cm
take charge of your happiness, 2011, ~83 × 24 × 1 in / 211 × 61 × 2.5 cm
enthuse widely and often, 2011, 89 × 31 in / 226 × 78 cm
hopexpectation, 2011, 101 × 18 × 1 in / 257 × 48 × 2.5 cm
hope for good, allow for even better, 2012, 51.5 × 47 in / 1.3 × 1.2 m
make space for unexpected positive revelations, 2012, 49 × 39 in / 1.5 × 1 m
miej nadzieję na to, co dobre, pozwól na to, co jeszcze lepsze (hope for good, allow for even better), 2012
what have i added to the wealth of creation, 2012, 1920s Chinese silk ribbon, grosgrain ribbon, thread, pins, 38 x 58.5 x 1 inches / 96.5 x 148.5 x 2.5 cm. This project was supported by Lucas Artists Program at the Montalvo Arts Center.