ROBERT MICHAEL JONES
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MEDIUM

MEDIUM – The Nature of Invention

 Project Description

The series of work spanning video, sculpture, installation, and print goes deep into historical and theoretical thought to dissect the relationship of technology and humanity.  The exhibition looks at the effects of technology on our lives and our attention as well as analyzing the nature of invention. It questions our conception of ‘natural’ and ‘artificial’ to look for a deeper truth about intelligence and complexity.

Originally the work was shown as a two week solo at Space 4 Art. While I was thrilled to see the exhibition come together I am still energized by thee ideas and want to share and develop them further. The two large installations are both site specific and will change depending on the architecture of the space. I am eager to revisit and advance these two works as well as create some new smaller works.

The projected video installation immersed the viewers into a visual field. The work makes a strong connection between the biological and the digital placing them both under the umbrella of growing complexity. The real magic though is a trance like meditative state that is induced in reaction to the immersion. I had some late technical issues which prevented this piece from using as many projectors as I wanted and limited it to a flat wall opposed to my intention of it being a multiplane experience or semi enclosed space. This piece was originally a live collaboration with a digital musician who rift off the experience.

In the final stages of preparing the last show I had to reach out to friends for tying the nets that would become the sculpture installation. The tedious work of the net making provided a time for small group discussions. If possible I would like to structure sessions before or during the show run to invite the public to work directly with the artist to in a somewhat meditative labor of weaving and tying nets while engaging in discussion of the concepts at play. Since our collective experience with technologies is an interesting one and is highly age dependent one of the more interesting things that can happen is inter-generational exchange. My hope with the next iteration of this work is to not only to discover how it engages a new architecture but to use it as a means for community engagement. Through that community engagement the piece will be enhanced, perhaps evolving through a diversity of creators, the accumulation of more interesting and specific objects, or even the overall concept shifting through dialogues. Aside from an open invitation to the public I will reach out to some area schools and organizations interested in bridging a conversation of art and science.

Physiologically, man in the normal use of technology (or his variously extended body) is perpetually modified by it and in turn finds new ways of modifying his technology. Man becomes, as it were, the sex organs of the machine world, as the bee of the plant world, enabling it to fecundate and evolve ever new forms.
— Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, 1964

2017, Medium, Electronic waste, video, prints, clay, concrete

2017, Virtually There, Video

2017, Neurons, Prints, 20in x 30in