Mediated Sculpture, by James Cook



3 exhibition views
Mesa Contemporary Art Center

The impetus to combine manipulated objets trouves with electronic media stems from my commitment to the idea that the former have a high potential to resonate poetically, while the electronic media generate a psychological/emotional immediacy that can be effectively used when planted in this poetic field. When ordinary objects are transformed through casting techniques or by juxtaposition with other images, they become removed from the associative, rational present. They readily perform as metaphor, and are thereby poetic.

This body of my work conceptually explores the conjunction of directional impulses (physical and metaphorical) in our moment-to-moment existence. These points of shifting have the potential to yield balance and orientation (psychological and spiritual). On the other hand, these junctures often yield confusion, dissatisfaction, or apprehension, rather than equilibrium. I am interested in our choices, how we are often distracted and do not see our options at these momentary junctures.

The importance of the present hinges upon some very basic ontological questions. As humans we operate within self-constructed orientation strategies based upon cultural paradigms and biases. There is constant shifting regarding ‘factual’ information within the sciences, and no consensus within philosophic and spiritual systems. I am interested in the individual and collective orientation avenues we create, or more passively acquire––with death, perhaps, as the ultimate stimulus to seek clarity in our existential situation.

In my work I often employ materials that have a history of use. These objects are then manipulated in the studio and admixed with cast and fabricated images, or other media. I consider these transformed objects, and their new context produced in the studio to be material metaphors. Their construction process is not derived primarily from ideas that are the result of rational processing; rather, they serve as interlocutors of the intuitive.

For the past ten yeara my work has shifted from solitary objects to video/sound embedded assemblages, installations, video projections, and interactive situations.

Main view of the sculpture
Detail view of the sculpture
Detail view of the sculpture