Friday, October 03, 2008

Art Space Talk: Casey Lynch

The art of Casey Lynch is an investigation of different levels of reality, the practices and phenomena that accompany them, and their disparate philosophies, technologies, remedies and lexicons; it is a meditation on teleological systems, epistemology, and existentialism . Through new media, sculpture, installation, drawing and text, Lynch strives to forge new connections between ideas usually seen as incongruent as a way to elucidate the similarities between all things and describe the reality of what it means to be human.

Casey Lynch was one of 50 finalist in the Myartspace New York, New York Competition in 2007. The three-person jury consisted of Jessica Morgan, curator of contemporary art at the Tate Modern, James Rondeau, curator of contemporary art at the Art Institute of Chicago and Steven Zevitas, Publisher and Editor of New American Paintings.

My Art / Your Brain #1, laser print on paper, the viewer’s mind, 8.5”x8.5”x8.5”-- dimensions variable

Brian Sherwin: Casey, you studied sculpture at the Atlanta College of art… earning a BFA in 2006. Can you discuss your years at the school? Did you have any influential instructors? I understand that you plan to continue your studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, is that correct?

Casey Lynch: ACA was a great school for me. I came in relatively naïve as to what it meant to be an artist in the contemporary world, and learned a lot there. All of the teachers there where great, but three really helped shape the artist that I am today: Diana McClintock, Roel Daves and David Isenhour. These three people helped me focus in on what was important to me and my practice, pushing me to make more mature work and be conscious of my decision making process. Sadly, I was part of the last graduating class of ACA, as is has now been annexed as part of Savannah College of Art and Design.

I am currently in the MFA program at RISD, and will graduate in May of 2009. This has been a phenomenal experience for me as well, introducing me to a myriad of opportunities and people, while building the strength of my portfolio, physically and conceptually.

BS: Casey, you also studied psychology… earning a BS in Psychology from Columbus State University. Can you discuss the influence that the study of psychology has had on your art? Do you adhere to any specific theories concerning the human condition?

CL: Perception, both physical and metaphysical, is a major theme in my work. My studies in psychology have impacted my work by shaping my beliefs about how perception functions and how it informs the human condition, especially with respect to drive for knowledge, truth and perfection. I also experienced a level of disillusionment, losing much of my positivist fervor during that time, realizing that irrationality had a hold on the human condition, and that "facts" and "statistics" are shaped by human will. With regard to my art, I find that I like to hold on to the idea that reality is a result of perception.
My Art / Your Brain #1, laser print on paper-- detail

BS: Tell us more about your art. My understanding is that your work is an investigation of different levels of reality . Can you go into further detail about the thoughts behind your art? What specific themes do you explore?

CL: Each piece is generally the result of my internal dialog about an epistemology I come across and find interest in, whether it be the "truths" of Mathematics, Science, Religion, etc. I examine a belief structure and think about its implications in the context of other systems with which I am familiar, or currently thinking about, trying to mix systems to create models or metaphors that explain some new idea by combining or resolving the ideas I am researching. I am most interested in Physics, especially the unknown or philosophical areas that are being pursued, like black holes and string theory. I like to try to assimilate those theories with ideas presented in more mysticism realms - Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and New Age. The Hegelian Dialect could begin to describe my thought process, but I often use unrelated ideas, as opposed to polemics, as a starting point for the synthesis I pursue.
Thought Pattern, distressed oak flooring, 96” x 96”, 2008 (studio shot)

BS: You have stated that your approach to creating art is serious and light hearted at the same time. You have gone on to say that it is critical but not cynical. Can you discuss your approach to artistic creation further? For example, do you adhere to certain philosophy as far as creating your work is concerned?

CL: I find the subjects that I investigate to be of a high level of importance, but I always keep in mind that more immediate and important items would be put on the docket if I were another person, and therefore do not take myself too seriously. I am critical because I like to pick apart the details and try to find the grand scheme of an idea set, but whether I agree with it or not, I am respectful of every system because I don't find cynicism to be a positively fruitful exercise.

BS: What about other influences? For example, are you influenced or inspired by any specific artist or period of art history?

CL: With their recent shows in NYC and Boston, Olafur Eliasson and Anish Kapoor have been in the forefront of my mind lately. I am also influenced by people like John Cage, Robert Irwin and Sol LeWitt, from the old school and Ricci Albenda and Spencer Finch in the new school. I think a lot about minimalism, and what the effect of boiling down concepts to such reductive states is, and what is lost or gained from that manner of abstraction.
Tunnel (Rabbit’s Worm Hole), ink on paper, 54” x 54”, 2008

BS: Perhaps you can tell our readers about a few examples of your work, Tunnel (Rabbit's Worm Hole) and Thought Pattern for example? What are the thoughts behind these specific works?

CL: Tunnel is from a series of drawings that are the result of tracing the pixel-grid projected from a digital projector; specifically, Tunnel delineates the concentric squares that can be made from such a grid. The drawing perpetuates the tension between order and chaos, with evidence of the clarity of the origin (a metaphor for the Platonic ideal) and a sloppiness in the attempt to capture or translate it.

Thought Pattern fits less conceptually with my other work in that it is more of a self portrait. Drawing from Bruce Nauman's Pacing in the Studio, it is an exaggeration of what a floor would look like if one were to spend endless time in indeterminate thought.

Tunnel (Rabbit’s Worm Hole), ink on paper-- detail

BS: You also create sound pieces, correct? My understanding is that your sound work is a fusion of electronic and experimental. Do you ever combine your sound work with your visual work?

CL: Yes, I love sound art and many styles of music. I often find myself trying to emulate the masters of drum-and-bass as well as glitch. I do not combined sound into much of my visual art, though I toy with the idea often. I find it extremely difficult to successfully marry the two, maybe because much of my work is minimal, and I try to keep things focused, clean and simple. I am currently working on a video that will act as the score for a composition structuring ambient noise - although the video with not have sound, similar to Cage's 4'33", it will call the viewer to notice the sound of his or her surroundings.
Fabric of the Cosmos, ink on paper, 54” x 54”, 2008

BS: What are you working on at this time? Can your give our readers some insight into your current work?
CL: I am working on a piece that is tentatively entitled Meditation on Nothing (500GB). Using a digital camcorder, I am taping myself practicing Zen Meditation (for 30 minutes per session.) I then transfer the digital video to an external hard drive. The drive is 500 gigabytes, and the piece will be over when it is full. I am about a quarter of the way done, hopefully finishing in in March or April.

I am also beginning a series of more traditional pieces (sculpture and installation) that will deal with light, space, and geometry to draw analogies to my conceptual interest.

BS: Casey, you were one of 50 finalist in the Myartspace New York, New York Competition in 2007. Have you been involved with any recent competitions or exhibits? Perhaps you will be involved with an upcoming exhibit? Where can our readers see your work in person at this time?

CL: I was just a part of The Wassaic Project, put on by the New York artist team Bowie + Eve, just outside of the city. It was a two day festival with bands and artists sharing the bill. In November, I will be in a show called From Big Box to White Box at the Chace Center Gallery in Providence, curated by Kelly Goff. Here, all of the work will use materials gathered from "big box" stores or refer to them in some manner.
Fabric of the Cosmos, ink on paper-- detail

BS: What are your thoughts about artists and the internet? In your opinion, how can an artist utilize the net in order to gain exposure and advance his or her career? How will the internet shape the art world that we have come to know?

CL: I think that if an emerging artists wants any kind of success today, it is imperative to have a web presence. Other than my own website and blog, I use networking sites to keep in touch with colleagues, and sites such as yours to get my images and name out there. I have no way of knowing exactly how the internet will change art, but with the daily emergence of new online galleries and the ability to buy and sell online, there will continue to be a shake-up, I think especially with digital and 2-D work.
In order to keep revenue up, I think galleries are going to start picking up a lot more artists, but having them for on-line galleries only; the cream will still take the physical gallery space - hopefully this will allow for even greater experimentation in the gallery, and a support net for artist who produce less marketable or commodifiable works.
You can learn more about Casey Lynch by visiting his website-- Casey Lynch is also a member of the community-- You can read more of my interviews at--
Take care, Stay true,

Brian Sherwin
Senior Editor

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Glad to see you getting some exposure. I hope that your work continues to take you where you want to go...