Contradiction, comparison and perspective are the basis for my conceptual artwork. Beginning with this outlook I have explored numerous avenues of creating artworks and enacting performances to describe aspects of contrast, with the goal of finding the unifying element of each. This broader goal is often unseen by consideration or viewing of my individual artworks and is also one that may be impossible to accomplish. Reaching that goal would be an answer to the philosophical question, “What is Art?” By pursuing this, I hope to unify theories of art critics, philosophers, consumers and viewers, such as Susan Sontag, Clive Bell and Clement Greenberg. It has been said that “variety and common ground” are the main themes found within my art and that it is “truly eclectic.” In an attempt to imitate the scientific method, I personally compare my work to the ability of holding something in abeyance; to neither believe nor disbelieve.
As mentioned before the works themselves vary greatly, including electronic sculpture, charcoal drawing, robot-carved paintings, cardboard sculpture, photography, glass sculpture, computer animation, wire sculpture, short-films, collage, altered found objects, performances, oil painting, acrylic painting, mixed media objects, clothing and more. The sizes, materials and locations change based on what is deemed most appropriate for the piece itself. An object could be a towering sculpture that engulfs a floor-to-ceiling space or a journal collection of paintings that fit neatly into a persons pocket. The performances could be in a class room, on the street or in a bar, perhaps involving objects, only words or actions. It could be a painting trapped behind a lock, never to be seen by any person’s eyes but my own. Whatever the form, each has been done under the theoretical blanket of “contrast.”
Currently, I have been working mainly in the mixed-media genre with an emphasis on group dynamics. This collaborative style art embodies and intermingles the contradiction of the individual artist and the collective. In order to make the part-performance part-artifact events occur, I have worked with the local community to create a non-profit organization, which has a focus on the arts and charity. The name is derived from “Bauhaus” and it’s multi-faceted school of thought and “cloud computing”; a computer networking term describing the online interaction of available services to a user from a resource they do not control such as, web pages or any type of file sharing. Together, the group creates art with variety, outside of any single medium or discipline drawing in elements of music, design, writing, coding, painting, construction and more. This is the current representation of “art without limits” that I strive to express.
When creating a piece or event, a massive amount of planning goes into it’s creation. Sketches, research, notes and conceptual development are integral. Once this process is started, it remains open to change, fluidly moving as circumstances dictate, whether it’s one of the group works that the non-profit is performing/creating, or one of my individual pieces. Painting is a perfect example of how the conceptual basis can transform. A project that begins as a personal history may end up being about the narration of painting. My process articulates and takes advantage of two fundamental premises: nothing is perfect and we should embrace it anyhow. This involves both the planned and the happenstance as well is a representation of contrasts containing similarity. This way I literally and figuratively try to shift the perspective of the viewer to think or see differently than they had before, from what they are presented, their personal lives to the world-wide culture around them.
In order to persist in merging various forms of art, I draw my visual experience from the vast networked community of the Internet and from the local community around me. Daily, I view and watch 20-150 pieces of art and video from numerous sources around the world. In addition to that read local, national and international news in an effort to stay connected, observing the world’s events. Hoping to pass along my influences I also keep an online record of the things that I create, open for anyone to view, and a record of the things I find for future reference and investigation; dancing in the areas of consumer and producer, artist and curator.
As the world becomes a more interconnected place and relies more and more heavily on those around us for specialized knowledge, the need for collaboration becomes more and more necessary. I believe that everything we do in life is dependent on other people and to a greater extent, that all things are connected. Whether it is through classroom participation, conceptual ideas, international societies, cultural conflicts, or physical forces like gravity. No one is independent of the systems that bind our universe and our global society together. Whomever you are reading this, you likely did not create the shoes on your feet. Through collaboration humanity has accomplished many great and small things that would exceed the ability of an individual.
Moreover, these accomplishments were made possible and interconnected by past dreamers and future hopefuls, meaning that all of our creations are based on the actions of those before us and fueled by the desire for something greater. What we learn and what we combine together into new ideas are the road we carve out for the generations to follow. In my pursuit to define art through creating art, I hope to discover something worth leaving for the future that will benefit humanity. I would not yet claim to have an answer to the question but if forced to give one, it would be the following definition of art containing an unifying element of both science and religion. Art is the pursuit to define that which cannot be defined.