Provisional Title: The Loss of the Human-Made
The ancient process of pottery is rendered precious and unique in a technology based global culture which moves further away from the hand-made and the tactile experience of physically creating an object, whether functional or purely aesthetic.
Clay or earth is such in essence a pure and universal medium, devoid limitations of sustainability or accessibility due to class or physical location. Pottery has been used by every civilization throughout history and epitomizes the uniquely human ability to create a functional object. Each of these geographically disparate cultures created an equally refined solution to the process of ceramics from glazing to firing and these techniques have been passed down through generations and maintained only through individually masterful execution. The simplistic beauty of a bowl is lost because we are inundated with its banality and in contemporary cultures the use of earth as the material is replaced by unnatural often toxic alternatives. The vessel both in its ubiquitous functionality throughout different cultures and profound metaphor of the form itself epitomizes for me the wonder of human development and the precious nature of these varied and refined techniques that are being replaced by mechanized production.
Since moving to the city a year ago I have struggled with grounding my studio art practice in something that seemed real and meaningful to me amidst increasingly heavy load of conceptual bull-shit. In the fine art department at Parsons, the major focus is on performance, sound and other very intangible technology based work, and when showing my pots I feel like I am presenting some relic or archaic object, however for me, this contemporary move – both in art and the world – towards a technology-centric cyber world, makes these ancient historical practices and modes of creation all the more precious and urgent. The meditative nature of throwing on the wheel, the endless levels of skill and craft to be mastered and the limitless creative possibilities it allows are all things that excite me in my studio practice. They allows me to explore art and form on a more visceral level and reminds me that some of the most powerful and beautiful things transcend the limits of verbal or even cognitive articulation.
Process based work which forces us to confront the means of production behind a functional or everyday object and narrows the gulf between consumer and producer. -Timo Rissenen Lecture
Design is a futureing act: transforming/re-imagining what is. -Joel Towers Lecture
I try to work from a place which utilizes existing techniques and processes but manipulates and utilizes them in a new way.
Resillience – the ability to change and adapt without collapse. – Joel Towers Lecture
Working as a metaphor for our larger eco-system, Clay by nature is structurally fluid and easily manipulated but is also extremely fragile and destructible.
Skepticism/Wonder – Ed Keller Lecture
When we attempt dissect and analyze every meaning-full experience -artistic or otherwise – on a scientific or cognitive level we can loose the mystery that makes it so powerful.