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    Artist Statement

    Updates


    I am interested in creating artworks that involve the viewer in varying levels of interaction, participation, and psychological immersion. I feel that it is important to bring about an integration of multisensory stimuli into works of art to create a more moving experience for a viewer/participant. Traditional delineations of “visual art,” “music” or “performing arts” are very practical in that they allow a societal infrastructure to exist. But, these separations don’t exactly address how human beings experience life and the world around us.

    The challenge I am most interested in is to make artworks that connect directly to the multi-sensory nature of human experience. I think art should involve our total experience of life without isolating the ways it is preferred to be dealt with by making art that is sound-only, written-only or seen-only. For this reason, I am compelled to make art that involves the synthesis of music and animation, physical/kinetic interaction and sculpture, to incorporate social commentary in an effort to initiate an awakening to the present.

    From one work to the next, I arrange semiotic elements to bring about cognitive, emotional or physical responses from the viewer. Sometimes, the viewer is asked to break with some of the social mores of the exhibition space by touching the work and manipulating mechanical/moving parts, or by using their cell phone as a tool to reveal hidden elements. In so doing, the viewer becomes a participant who is invited to succumb to a child-like impulse to play. It is in this "play state" that the interaction between artwork and viewer becomes a performance, the viewer takes on the roles of both the observed subject and the observer, evoking states of mind that are sometimes thought to be paradoxical to one another. However, it is during the "play state" that psychologists have observed that people develop the "self-regulatory system," a system of checks and balances that helps to monitor how we interact with the surrounding environment and each other.

    Interaction is a cornerstone of my work. The process of eliciting viewer/object interaction is a dialectic I use to create experiences and to open up a dialog about various subjects. My hope is that this kind of work can evoke a greater sense of connectedness.

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    Tom Estlack | E-Newsletter SignUp Subscribe