David Gallagher

Artist Statement

In our current epoch of ever more rapid invention it becomes paramount to analyze our relationships to the technology we produce. Systems are created on the foundations of existing technology and are tied to the accepted modes of history and the present. These technologies mediate our experiences with the physical world. We no longer have hundreds of years to determine appropriate uses for the technology we create. In many cases this time frame can be compressed to months or even weeks, with the only criteria for its evaluation being its novelty. These tools we create enter our perception with singularity of purpose, and yet cause repercussions though out our whole cultural existence.

The primary focus of my artistic practice is the systems we create to manage our society. I am constantly investigating our understanding of the physical and psychological environments we construct. Humanity is driven to invent; to create tools that aid in the managing of society's existence. Our instinctual proclivity to transcend what exists, to constantly refine and redefine our own existence is the central idea that drives my research. My work is a simulation and examination of systems that function within the constructs of social environments. These systems provide a framework for the investigation of the possibilities of context, specific iterations of conventional relationships.

These concepts manifest themselves in the studio with ceramics as the foundation, due to its strong roots in the crafts, industrial technology, and design. While I am continually creating objects, they rarely function as autonomous units. Instead, they become parts of a physical lexicon that are only relevant in their relationships to their counterparts. As a parallel to the physical manipulation of material, I also collect a myriad of industrially produced objects. These parts of a larger whole which are removed from their original singular purpose, serve as symbols of a specific function. I live with these objects in my studio; develop relationships with them as I interact with them over the course of time.

The use of physical computing is also an essential element of my studio practice. The DIY culture surrounding the communities related to this practice foster an ethic of exploratory learning and analysis. Using this paradigm, I explore my lexicon with an eye towards the functionality of these objects and how best to recontextualize them towards my purpose.

When a work is actualized, it is the crosspollination of these three elements. Spurred on by observation, I draw from the forms and symbols available to me to create a dynamic environment that allows for the exploration and consideration of the space and its components.

-- David Gallagher