Thursday, May 2, 2013

Tim Hawkinson

"Tim Hawkinson's fantastical works suggest the profound strangeness of life, matter, and time. Interweaving images of bodies and machines, at scales that vary from the monumental to the nearly microscopic, Hawkinson conjures a world that teeters on the cusp between the real and unreal"    
 -Lawrence Rinder 

 Tim Hawkinson is an American artist most well known for his sculpture. Hawkinson's works most regularly explore the themes of self-portraiture, music, and the passing of time, as well as his artistic engagement with material, technique, and process.  In terms of self-portraiture, Hawkinson focuses on the re-imagination of his own body - toying with self-mockery at times - and what it means to create a self portrait of this new or fictionalized body; Self Portrait (Height determined by weight and Balloon Self Portrait are two great examples. He has cited the works of Mr. Ray and Bruce Nauman as inspiration for his exploration of new forms of self-portraiture. In 2002, Hawkinson created a poster sized image of himself with motorized features entitled Emoter (pictured). Emoter is a kinetic collage in which the various parts of Hawkinson's face are moved by hydraulic mechanisms that are driven by light sensors attached to a television screen. The sensors capture the flickering light on the screen and transfer this information into signals that control the features of the collage. In Emoter, Hawkinson attributes the appearance of consciousness to the firing of electrical impulses, allowing his expressions to be dictated in an unpredictable manner.
"I wanted a way of generating a random pattern, and came upon the idea of using a TV set and light sensors to generate movement, [...] Then I hit upon the face idea [...] because no matter what randomness is occurring, it makes sense to us because we assign it some meaning."
 Click here for a video about Emoter and here for more about Tim Hawkinson.


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