M.F.A. 2009 Sculpture Indiana University
B.F.A. 2004 Painting Kansas City Art Institute
Every object present in our daily life reflects ideological information about its maker and its audience. Yet, often we do not take time out of our busy day to ponder how our built environment is manipulated through visual and physical means. My most recent series of works are carefully selected, culturally relevant, forms that carry with them a vast wealth of information about our own culture. The information being investigated is that found in the purely form-based qualities inherent in the design of these objects. What does an overtly square / rounded / thin / thick / flat / glossy form say about designers and the culture in which, and for which, they are designing?
I approach these questions from an amateur anthropological perspective. Rather than using more typical research techniques, I attempt to better understand my own culture through imitation, recording, and abstraction processes.
The resulting forms are developed as hybrid prototypical structures, relying heavily on widespread postmodern minimalist design aesthetics, ranging from homogenous suburban retail settings to the uber-chic iLifestyle. This reflects the hyper-aesthetic consumption that pervades our everyday lives and, as a culture, has fully enveloped our ideological footing. As a producer of visual culture, I am not neutral in this visual exchange. The hope is that the work acts as a counterpoint to the mass-produced fulfillment transaction, a kind of haunting bookmark that recurs when you are confronted with a similar object in the future.
- jonathan dankenbring