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Date of Creation
In my own life, I find myself the most contemplative when surrounded by white noise, when I am in the shower or doing laundry; that constant audio static acts like a barrier and allows me to more easily recede into my mind. I imagine the inner mind like a cave, no two are similar, as caves twist and break through the underground landscape they secret away more than we can discover for ourselves, caves are naturally occurring yet are largely unexplored. I investigate this metaphor by generating my own cave openings and spaces to try and impose a feeling of contemplation and isolation on the viewer through visual clues, usually vestiges of human occupation.
In my printmaking process, I create a composition that gives a sense of vastness or spaciousness within seemingly smaller objects to represent this mindscape and placing the figure or a symbol for it within to add to the sense of scale. I’m fascinated with combining a visual interpretation of the brain’s environment and activity within the context of daily activities or environments filled with background noise, the static moments of life. I want to invite the view to contemplate the small periods of dissociation where we cease to be ourselves doing the activity, be it laundry or waiting in the elevator, and exist solely within our minds, thinking, conversing, imagining but ultimately denying the social factor of our own humanity. In those small moments we all exist on the island inside our mind, alone.
In my sculpture work I use the anonymity of constructive materials like sheet steel and treated lumber to pull away the visual noise of logos, design, and color to imbue objects with a brooding quiet. Through sculpture I want to focus on “lonely objects” that are representative of our globalized market and growing speed of international exchange, objects that exist “everywhere” in replicated form and what that means for our interactions with these objects. I think of “lonely objects” as objects that are tucked away in corners or left alone and vacant more of the time than not, such as a vending machine: it stays on always, available always to be interacted with whether that be a positive interaction or not yet that interaction is over in minutes and especially at night there are long hours of electricity and availability seemingly wasted for lack of people.
Focusing on how our relationship to the internet and media affects our consumption of art is key to my process and relating to a larger audience of non-art makers and communicating more effectively. I use saturated flat colors to create a visually interesting composition that will draw the viewer into my piece anticipating something immediately happy or pleasant only to feel a creeping sense of foreboding from the cave or object. I think pushing these aspects of these two main structures can invite the viewer to think about how we interact with appliances and how we demand the constant availability of the internet and social media yet interactions are small and isolated over texts, posts and memes.
An eclectic but cohesive mix of media demonstrating acquisition of skills over a period of four years.
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Hahnes, Matthew, "Pro-Prac Retrospective" (2017). Professional Practices (ART 399). 29.