Artist Statement - April 2016

    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 an array of elements together in a work of art in order 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 in relationship to artistic practice. But, this segregation doesn’t address how human beings deal with life and the world around us. The challenge incumbent upon artists is to make artworks that connect to human experience. Art should involve our total experience of life without isolating the idiosyncratic 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, kinetic interaction and sculpture, to incorporate social commentary and initiate a means whereby a person can awaken to the present.

    From one work to the next, I arrange semiotic elements for the purpose of bringing about cognitive, emotional or physical responses from the viewer. The viewer is invited to participate in the performance of a work via the placement of elements such as video footage, sound, music, switches, handles or other simple moving parts. Sometimes a more subtle experience is created utilizing a more restricted palette of elements. To experience the work, the viewer must often break with some of the social mores of the exhibition space, or abide by them according to sensory cues and signs found within each work. The viewer/participant is often invited to succumb to a child-like impulse to play. Once a part of an interaction or 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.

    This process of eliciting viewer/object interaction is a dialectic I use to create subjective experiences and to open up a dialog about various subjects. Interaction is a cornerstone of my work. 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