portfolio statement about contact
line
 

What is the work in the artwork?

The work is both manual and intellectual. It is hard and therefore gratifying. It is monotonous yet
compelling. It is continual.

As an artwork evolves from its inception to its realization it undergoes several changes and multiple processes. I am interested in exploring the labors present in the development of an artwork. With my recent work I investigate this through the manipulation of material and the restructuring of form. I create modules from which I construct larger structures that have no static composition. Emphasis begins with the modules and the repetitiveness of their making. The modules then become a means to an end: a tool. Emphasis then oscillates between the module and the construction of the larger structure, combining the object with the process of its making.

I use the modules as a way to emphasize the labor that is inherent in the repetitive manipulation of material in their making. For this reason it is important that the modules are not unaltered, purchased, mass-produced forms or that their making was not shopped out to another craftsperson but that they are hand crafted by me; where all the decisions of their making occur through me.

Lets look at the steps to create a simple concrete block:

The pricing, purchasing, loading, transporting and unloading of material
The measuring, cutting and sawing of material
The assembling of a jig
The assembling of parts to make mold by nailing and screwing
The application of mold release
The leveling of the mold
The weighing of cement and sand
The mixing of cement and sand
The mixing of water to the cement and sand mixture
The pouring of mixture into the mold
The vibration of mold for air bubble release
The skimming of mold surface
The cleaning of tools
The dismantling of the mold
The cleaning of the mold
The reassembling of the mold

Repeat this process to create a set of modules.

This is a generalized list and does not account for the small steps and decisions made prior to, during and after the making. I wonder what steps other artists take in the creation of their work and if they even realize all the steps they take and the implications and importance that they may have to their practice.

Unlike a bricklayer, who uses bricks to construct a fixed, finite structure, I use the modules as tools to create structures that are open-ended forms to reemphasize the labor. The molds, crates and unused modules serve as devices to imply potential. Can I add more to the existing structures before it might fall? What other structures can I make in the space?

Through the stacking, clamping, rigging and other structural methods I investigate the properties of sculpture. Each form is an investigation into the limits of the material, the module, and/or the system of construction. I want to see how far I can go before gravity takes over and the structure fails. I want to create a sense of precariousness. Each permutation requires that I develop a system or systems to construct it. Leading again to more labor. The artwork’s form is continual and changing, consequently so is the labor.