This is the first post of a three part series highlighting artwork I made at the turn of the millennium. See part two here and part three here.
Most people don’t know that after graduating from college with a double major in engineering and math that I moved to New York to become a painter. It was around this time that I started transitioning from image-driven paintings to things totally abstract. An instructor I had in college both inspired me and also fueled a bit of incredulity as he was known for devoting close to a decade painting only birch trees. He was fascinated by the texture of the bark and how to emulate that in oil. It probably took me a good 8-10 years to fully appreciate his direction, and when I did I went off the deep end.
This series of studies combines my personal exploration of texture melded with my thoughts about digital information. As much as I enjoyed painting, I actually found the traditional process a bit tedious. I was more energized by throwing paint around, creating my own brushes out of weird material, painting using water (but not watercolors), cutting stuff up, smashing stuff, setting things on fire, etc. Eventually I started thinking about how to create texture without paint, which is where this series leads.
From the conceptual side I wanted to imagine what it meant to anthropomorphize data. So much talk of cyber-this and cyber-that obviously leads to questions like those explored in numerous science fiction novels and movies. Things like Blade Runner, where we anthropomorphize and then fall in love with robots, or Total Recall, where we don’t know which memories are real. If you peel back the layers, eventually you get to the question of what about the data itself that powers the virtual realities? Why not anthropomorphize the actual 1s and 0s? These pieces explore this idea using various materials to represent binary information.
Naivete of a bit stream
Materials: Wood, plexiglass, sheet metal, latex paint
Dimensions: ~26″ x ~11″ x ~6″
Malfeasance of inverted personality
Materials: Wood, plexiglass, sheet metal
Dimensions: 37.5″ x 27.5″ x 3.5″
Misplaced title 1
Materials: Wood, plexiglass, sheet metal, caulk
Misplaced title 2
Materials: Wood, plexiglass, shower curtain, latex paint
Dimensions: ~28″ x ~11″ x 3″
Misplaced title 3
Materials: Wood, fiberglass, sheet metal
Dimensions: 24″ x 24″ x ~16″
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