I am a MPhil candidate in the final stages of my research. Coming from industry, I have seen the rise of technology being used as a workforce productivity improvement strategy. However, I've always wondered whether we’ve considered the society we are creating with technology and the evolution of the relationships that we are now forming with each other. With an increasingly older population here in Australia, a workforce that is increasingly in demand, and a more sophisticated consumer, I am exploring the way technology is shaping the aged care work environment.
(2020 - Photography series)
In this photo series, I wanted to give carers a voice and draw attention to their view of silently caring for our older generations with the influence of technology. Each scene is taken from the carer’s perspective, with the older person and a piece of technology always in view, and asks a question of the viewer:
‘Screen time’ shows what could be an optimistic view of an older person happily using technology, or a depressing view of someone lonely and disconnected from other people. What does the carer feel as they walk past this scene – a sense of contentment, frustration, or something else?
‘Care time’ shows the connection between a carer and an older person beyond the standard worker and customer relationship. I stepped in to act as the worker in this photo, holding the hands of my Mum. How would you want your parents to be cared for?
‘No time’ focusses in on the watch, showing the time pressures carers can sometimes feel. Does technology help or hinder the carer?
(2019 - Sculpture)
This sculpture represents the rapid growth of technology solutions within aged care. The humble wooden walking stick (Walking Stick 1.0) was replaced with premium aluminium walking sticks (Walking Stick 2.0), which is now being replaced again with this new prototype...
Let me introduce you to Walking Stick 3.0, with advanced tracking technology so that families can know their parent is safe, and a sophisticated user interface so that aged care providers can interact with the older person.
But I wonder – is it any more useful to the older person than a humble walking stick?