Tales from the Co-op:
My studio practice is an important contrast to my contemporary life, in which my daily rhythm is continuously interrupted by the immediate demands of digital interactions. When managing tasks on my computer or phone, my movements are tracked, quantified, and monetized within predefined symbols and layouts. To further investigate the effects digital technologies have on my daily rhythm and reach of information, I take an interdisciplinary approach to my artistic practice. While studying for my BFA in Printmaking at the University of Northern Iowa, I took on a minor in Interactive Digital Studies and snagged an internship at a growing tech company.
Between the computer and the studio, I explore my actions as intuitive or programmatic, passive or active, and planned or incidental. Screenprinting, relief, and photo-print processes are a natural way for me to trace, replicate, modify, manipulate, and transform images into variations and multiples. After graduating in December 2015, I transitioned to working remotely as a mobile applications designer, and searched for a co-op space to continue printmaking.Greatly impressed with Highpoint Center for Printmaking’s combination of co-op, gallery, professional press, and education space, I moved to Minneapolis mainly to work in their studio.
As a young printmaker, Highpoint affords me the luxury of technical advice and inspiration when working side-by-side with much more experienced printers. My most recent series of forty-five screen prints, #TheIdealAesthetic, were created at Highpoint. For these prints, I built up a library of images traced from targeted advertisements and application interfaces. By exploring the recurring patterns in these ads, I can better understand my identity through a conversation with the advertisers.
I first became interested in sculpture some 25 years ago. After a time, I became frustrated with the lengthy clay to wax to bronze process. Consequently, I switched to woodcarving, a process in which I’m fully involved that moves along at a faster pace. During this time, I also became interested in old film cameras, negatives, and working in a darkroom. After taking a printmaking class at the Center for Arts in Jackson, Wyoming (my previous residence for 17 years) it all seemed to gel—the darkroom, the carving, the woodcuts. It makes perfect sense, at least for now, I get to carve my own negatives!
Moving back to my hometown of Minneapolis two years ago, I did a Google search and found Highpoint was only 5 minutes from my residence. Impressed from the moment I toured the facility, I soon became a co-op member and have thoroughly enjoyed working in the clean, fully equipped, professional facility ever since.
From my perspective, art is a process, a technical process. It requires the same analysis used when troubleshooting a problem. I guess you could simply call it trial and error! Hopefully I realize which outcome I’ve achieved.