Monday, July 19, 2010

Rex Brodie - Project 1 CNC Milling

Since my introduction to computer graphics in the late 80’s, I have had a love-hate relationship with the technology. The creative possibilities the computer offers the artist are mind boggling. And since it is the role of the artist to reflect on the culture and technology of his/her times, in our current digital age, it’s logical for the artist to use computer technology. However, for me personally, creating art is not an entirely logical endeavor. In many ways, the journey of the creative process is more important than the final artifact. I much prefer the physical act of working with materials to sitting in front of a computer manipulating intangible 1’s and 0’s in the digital world. While “crafting” a piece of sculpture, the hand constantly informs mind, and the potential for chance situations created by the “workmanship of risk” is always present.

What I find most exciting about the new digital fabrication techniques is that artists not only have the ability to realize new forms on the computer but can now also experiment with variable materials and ideas. By creating sculpture that incorporates machine-fabricated objects with the ambiguity of mark and character of traditional mediums, the artist reintroduces the openness to chance and spontaneity to the process, resulting in an artwork that has the “autographic” character of the artist and best reflects our richly ambiguous world.

Formally trained as a furniture maker, my palette has been primarily wood. However, I have recently become interested in working with metal. Craftsmanship has always played an important part conceptually and technically in the execution of my work. With crafts historical ties to pre-industrial technologies and labor intensive procedures, I plan to create sculpture that juxtaposes hand-crafted forged metal and wood elements with digitally fabricated parts. In doing so, I will show the inherent beauty in both hand and machine-fabricated elements while attempting to raise questions about the role of technology in our society.

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