::ENTER ATTAINMENT SYSTEM::
The logic used by the modern educational system has, as its premise, the assimilation of the student towards predetermined facts taught in a predetermined manner. This logic does not encourage, instill, nor nurture individual creative development. The environment of the public education system stifles creativity. We are not educating individuals – we are herding young minds into slaughterhouses of dry ideas. This piece, the Enter Attainment System, is a visual representation of what I feel my educational experience has been. The title is a play-on-words of the household entertainment system. I believe that the environment of public school and the after-school activity of watching T.V. are deadening the capacity of our imaginations. This “educational observation unit” monitors the “student” behind a protective cage and guides them through three simultaneously broadcasted subjects. It has an image in front of one screen that shows a male figure pouring a gallon of milk over his face. The image is a double exposure and behind the figure is a portrait image of the male drenched in milk. This signifies that this is a flood of information. The lens behind the cage is the nipple of one brass breast. The breast symbolizes maternal nurturing, yet by placing a lens where the nipple existed gives this body part a more ominous feel, as if the entertainment industry is raising America’s youth. Where the public school system falls short in providing a genuine education for our children, I feel the problem is propagated by people who feel that mass media will pick up the slack. I call this the Enter Attainment System because it is a mockery of those Americans who choose to sit in front of a television and be subjugated to an overindulgence of stimuli, in order to gloss over the fact that they are ignoring their own personal search for enlightenment, because watching an episode of The Bachelor is a quick fix for filling the void.
CLASS WAR LIMO
On the outside, this piece has a romantic and relaxing visual appearance. The aesthetic value that I incorporate fluctuates between complexity and simplicity. The complex mechanical drive of the object is a marriage between bicycle pedals, gears and wheels from a motorcycle’s front and rear end. The front shocks serve as chain tensioners for the direct drive peddle operation, and the gears are used to create a torque advantage to move the piece. The structure of this sculpture is a series of minimalized lines that serve the integral function of a supporting framework. This frame allows a ten-foot tall unicycle to PUSH a rider in a Lazy Boy. The antiquated wheels that are on either side of the Lazy Boy are representational of the historic tradition of “free rides” that are sought and gained by wealth and power. The fact that the chair swivels from side to side but not enough to see the driver is intended to be a subtlety that shows the lack of recognition between those that ride and those that PUSH. The rider sits on an old tractor seat that is elevated above the plush luxury of the red velvet Lazy Boy. This expresses an admiration and acknowledgement that I have for the plight of the blue-collar worker. In this specific artwork, what is outwardly an enjoyable visual experience is, becomes a clarified perspective on the relationship between two different classes, blue-collar and white-collar. The marimba is placed for the use of the driver because music has traditionally been a form of public expression from the lower class. I think of blues artists and jazz musicians from the1920s to the 1950s and I feel that the marimba, for a solo instrument, expresses a wildly organic tone that fully completes what I consider to be the main argument of this piece. Is it better to PUSH and play the songs of your soul or is it better to sit back and enjoy the ride?
THE SPITBALL PAINTING MACHINE
Through this mechanism, I am establishing a connection between myself, the artist, and the participating audience. I often think of life as a walk down the length of a diving board. As I continue through life, ideas fall out of my head and land in front of me, joining an already-present mountain of conceptions that occupy the space between me and the unavoidable end of the board. These dreams are being constantly PUSHED ever closer to the eventual edge, a metaphorical death. The diving board, because of its definite limit, commands me to choose which ideas stay as concepts and which become actualized. The actualized ideas become art-of-facts that exclaim the victories of my intention. It is because I have to choose, because I cannot create all my ideas into art, that I experience great anxiety. A truly original idea is almost impossible to generate, but an even larger impossibility is the transformation of these ideas into reality. I wish to awaken a sense of panic in people as they acknowledge an inevitable end; it is this panic of ephemeral-ness that urges people to turn ideas into realities. There comes a point on every person’s diving board that when crossed, their mountain of dreams starts falling into the metaphorical filing cabinet that death forever seals. People must continue to personally fulfill their dreams. It is of the highest importance for me to bring inspiring art to people. This is an opportunity for you, the audience, to participate in creating your own art-of-fact. Behind the frame is a straw dispenser. One per customer, please. Underneath is a trashcan that has PUSH written on it. Here is where the person puts ten dollars (and if you think that $10 is too much to pay to an artist after everything I’ve been through (four studio changes, living in a junkyard with a redneck retard named Jerry for Christ’s sake, and not to mention the fact I still live in a school bus with no heat, the incessant formidable flooding, the cost of equipment and materials, and how I lived off nothing but cheese and bread for four years) then you can go to hell for all I care) and receives a signed piece of blank paper from me, Sean Pace. One of the housewives will place the paper on the diving board behind the waterfall of ink. The hand that comes from under filing cabinet holds a receiver for the straw. From this point the participant will remove the paper from the straw and make a spitball to place inside the straw. Then the participant will load and place the straw in the receiver and then pull the fountain release lever while blowing the spitball through the sheet of black ink to make a co-created piece of artwork. The childish act of using a spitball reconnects people back to the roots of their youth. Because of this, people become more receptive to new information and possibly find new creative perspectives that allow for inspiration to flow.
UNDER FURTHER SCRUTINY THE WORLD IS STILL QUITE FLAT
Not so long ago, in the Western world, the Pope was considered to be infallible. He was the closest human connection to God a person could get. Through the words of the Pope came the understanding and the reason for life. Entire countries and societies were based around what he and the Catholic Church sanctioned. Then a few “mad scientists” came along and changed everything. Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Tycho Brahe and Sir Issac Newton put into words the natural laws of physics, confirmed by mathematics. In other words, the work of these men challenged the validity of the Catholic Church and its paradigms. These scientists, at one time or another, were all deemed unorthodox and sacrilegious, and no one took them seriously at first. Now our entire worldview is based on their principles. These scientists, in their own right, were artists as well. Art, in its most intrinsic form, is communication. It is a dialogue between the artist and the rest of the world. It is an attempt at expressing emotion, at documenting history, at experimenting and researching problems and solutions for the future, and sharing with people a very fluid and dynamic exchange of ideas. Most iconoclastic notions, at their inception, are perceived as ridiculous. The world was not round, nor did it revolve around the sun. Evolution was preposterous and so is the idea of life on other planets. Perhaps this is the essential role of any true artist – to PUSH the envelope, to PUSH the limits of preordained rhetoric, to PUSH people to think differently. The world was flat until a group of heretics proved that our planet is indeed spherical. By constricting our views of what “good art” is, we are denying the accomplishments of other paradigm-shifters that preceded us. In other words, the art I make is not classical art. It does not fall into the category of “home decorum.” It may not match the couch in your living room, but I urge you to tear down your Rembrandt, put on your wall an object that speaks of higher ideas and is a representation of strong vision.
DECONSTRUCTION OF A PIANO LESSON
This piece is an upright piano that has been cut in half and attached to a rolling stand that allows it to pivot and bounce when the people interact by jumping up and down on a five- foot-tall pogo stick attached to a piston that distributes the force of jumping to the piano. This piece takes apart the ideas of Sigmund Freud relating the Id, Ego and Superego to the respective qualities of Young Student, Teacher, and Sheet Music. The interactive participant is able to understand that by attaching a pogo stick to this piano is the only way to play it. I have subtracted the ego (teacher) and the Super Ego (Sheet Music) and made a direct connection that allows the power and drive of the Id to be free as it makes music. Even the greatest of Pianists must resort to the raw energy of the Id to play with this device. Young and old alike take the position of youth as they jump up and down on this fascinating machine. In some ways, I refer to it as a fountain of youth, because to play it, one must regress to the childhood action of playing on a pogo stick. It is in this regression that the audience is invited to revisit the joy of playing without judgment.