From Aline Smithson’s interview with Robert Calafiore for “The States Project: Connecticut” at Lenscratch:
[RC]: About fifteen years ago, I began thinking more about the change I was witnessing in my students dexterity. In other words, it became apparent to me that the relationship to our physical world was no longer the same as I had experienced growing up. The shift in understanding how to interact with the world was resulting in a significant difference in basic skills. Examples include handling a photograph, holding a camera, using materials and tools as simple as cutting with a utility knife, measuring with a ruler, assembling parts, and having varying sensitivity to wildly different objects, to name just a few. It became very evident in making pinhole cameras in my experimental photo courses that something was not the same. There seemed to be an increasing difficulty in making a light tight box. The corners weren’t tight, there were no straight lines, and the lids either were too big or too small. What was once a simple project had become a grueling task. Of course, there is now much written about how our “screen life” is changing personal interactions, human relationships and much more. I decided to take my interest in this observation and bring it together with a passion for a large collection of family glassware I have been hoarding for years. It was time for me to set out on a project that would speak directly about my family history through this collection and blend it with my intrigue regarding what it means to be a real person in a real world gone digital.