My artwork explores the interaction of human activities with the natural environment and the idea that we are currently living in the Anthropocene, where human activities have had a significant global impact on the Earth’s ecosystems. Within this domain, my interests range from concepts of land and natural resource use to the psychological effects of living in the “non-places” of a hypermodern world. Our contemporary condition has given us an overwhelming trust in progress and created a general disregard for our relationship to natural systems and processes.
In my studio practice, there is no hierarchy of material or method. I believe in a holistic approach to art making–an approach that balances aesthetic judgment, craftsmanship, concept, and material. Within my work there is often a direct material-to-concept relationship. Accepting that all materials carry cultural and historical significance, I choose materials that feed my conceptual agenda.
Through personal experience of landscape and image collection, I select ubiquitous forms and images. I then use that information to construct sculptural arrangements, drawings, digital images, animations, etc., employing spatial relationships that are inherent in built environments and natural landscapes. There is disunion between my aesthetic attraction to images of built and altered landscapes and my feelings toward the issues they represent. Therefore, I situate my work between skepticism and veneration.
Born in 1980 in rural southeastern Ohio, Dylan Beck spent his childhood living between small town Ohio, inner city Columbus, and the wooded Hocking Hills. These diverse environments had a major impact on how he interprets landscape. As a teenager Dylan worked for his father’s home construction business which directly informed his use of materials and understanding of infrastructural development. While pursuing his MFA at Tyler School of Art, Dylan was hired as the Area Chair of Ceramics at Kansas State University. After 5 years at Kansas State, Dylan moved to Portland, OR to accept the position of Ceramics Department Head at Oregon College of Art and Craft. Dylan has exhibited and lectured extensively and published articles in Ceramics: Art and Perception, CFile, and the NCECA Journal.