“Naturalizing the Digital”
“Sculpture’s prerogative is to confront us with the fact of our material, physical, bodily reality, making that fact available to thought and feeling — and making it sociable, an open secret shared with others in a common space.” Peter Schjeldahl
We modern humans are inclined to rationalize and digitize our environment. We delineate boundaries, build boxes, and design grids. Even our language can be viewed as a way of capturing ideas and feelings into discreet packages of information that are words.
Nature, on the other hand, has no such discreet boundaries. It is clearly Analogue. Its language consists of forces, processes, and materials. Discreet objects grow or crystallize from the energy of the universe.
Art can be viewed as the thing that reaches back from our rational constructions to bring meaning to our place in the natural world. Writers, poets, and musicians create analogue like flows of words to remind us of our true nature. Makers also reconfigure discreet materials into analogue expressions that resonate with our connection to the world.
I try to make sculptures that appear as if they grew from the interaction of natural forces and human intention.
The sculptures exploit the physicality of form and materials to confront the viewer with their connection to the natural world. They also encourage the viewer to experience preverbal feelings about growth processes and to consider ideas of origin and potential. As our evolution, through the advent of digital and virtual technology grows, I find myself compelled to emphasize the importance of our natural and physical environments.
While I continue to explore and utilize digital processes, I do it with the express goal to underscore the physical and analogue characteristics of existence.
12 September 2010
Artist Statement for 2010 Idaho Triennial
Artists and Scientists, alike, are explorers. In overly simplified terms, scientists use logic and rational methods to understand of the world, while artists use intuition and irrational means to glimpse reality.
BOCOLAB is a collaborative effort to bring together these two methodologies. Like many artists and scientists of the past, it is our goal to explore the relationship between humans and our environment. Today, our environment is dominated by a rapid introduction of digital technologies, which has created an entirely new dimension in our cultural and physical landscape. It is this nexus of the physical and the virtual that we are currently investigating. BOCOLAB shares the idea that innovation, inspiration, meaning, and magic can all emerge from the intersection of art and science.
The current installation is comprised of 3 robotic, interactive sculptures–a chair, a table, and a lamp. In this piece we are exploring the relationship between our selves and our creations, as they evolve.
Boise Art Museum
My work focuses on the way things evolve. Chaos Theory postulates that systems evolve according to a “sensitive dependence on initial conditions.” Tiny differences at the onset of growth are magnified by time and repetition to eventually create complex entities and systems.
My working process parallels this idea. Some of the sculptures are comprised of a single band of metal that can serve as a metaphor for a growing system. At first, the direction that the band travels is determined by the surface of the original form, but soon, it starts to respond to its own structure. Intersections and nodes emerge as distinct secondary forms and the traveling line responds to these in turn.
The sculptures that result from this process often exhibit clusters and intersections that suggest a type of order reminiscent of those seen in natural and human-made systems. These patterns relate to evolution at various scales–from the growth of lichen, to the topography of the earth, or from the construction of a computer chip to the layout of cities and roads.