For years past, totems were symbolic of battles, murders, family heritage, religious idols, and numerous other things. Typically found on the pacific coast of the U.S., these towers expressed a large amount of culture, creativity, and regional individuality.
That being said, Chris is an artist, and artists see things differently…
Chris saw, either in reality or in his mind, this image of a bird perched on a telephone pole, and thought of a totem pole. In a lot of ways, I totally see where he’s coming from in this. Totems were used to convey a message, to communicate, if you would. They were often an expression of battles, conflicts, family heritage, and religious identity – much of that can be conveyed today through technology and modern communication. In a lot of ways, the “pole” presence of totems has been achieved and spread throughout the entire country with the advent of telephone poles.
The message, however, has shifted away from that of individuality and regional expression and more towards centralization of information and a feeling of connectedness amongst the country’s people. What was once such a vibrant and unique expression has been reduced down to a mainstream symbol of “progress”.
Furthermore, these days, the need for overhead “phone lines” and poles is going the way of the dodo bird as cloud technology and digital signals continue to replace hard wired communication. It just goes to show how times can shift, and the way we see things one day can be completely different on the next. Kudos to Chris for seeing this image, and capturing the thoughts down. Years from now, corded phones and wired communication will be a thing of the past, much like many of the people who once carved the grand totems out west.
Chris Cook is a premier southern artist and owner of Madison Studios, a web design, maintenance, and e-commerce and marketing company. For his artist biography, contact information, or to view more of his work, click HERE.