What Is It You Do?

I am an installation artist. At least, the result of what I do are often come out as installations.

Topiary plus robotics plus kinetic art with some light projection comes out in what’s probably termed ‘installation art.’ But I stumbled onto the term of ‘installation art’, but seeing my ideas from this definition — it’s a pretty good match.

Why Installation Art, Why Do You Do It?

What I learned is that an installation artist is interested in the viewer and the location their piece is seen. I’d hate to not have these two things in my creative thinking anyway. I like installations that try to make the viewer think or view things differently. My own twist is that I wouldn’t mind fuckin’ with the viewer in a cheeky, friendly way. {laughs}

I’m not sure I’ve seen creative cheekiness mixed with state-of-the-art technology. That’s what I’m looking to do with Oddtoe and as an installation artist.

What Makes Oddtoe’s Installations Unique or Different?

As an installation artist, I like to think Oddtoe goes for your mind. Also, satisfying a person’s desire for a unique experience and achieving that through visual distortion, innovative source materials, and clever design.

My ingredients for the creation of an installation are also what’s different. The art world was furious at Anish Kapoor for securing exclusive rights to the deepest black paint ever invented. But I can totally understand why! I’d give a kidney for a liter of that glorious oil! {laughs}

That paint is on my list of installation art ‘ingredients’. Along with magnets, projected light, taxidermy, kinetic sculptures, and whatever else catches my fancy.

Sometimes I think I love the idea of what a viewer thinks and my process for creating installations than I do the installations themselves.

What’s Your ‘Perfect’ Installation Art Client?

A gallery owner or a museum curator who thinks in future terms. So much of what I do has today’s zeitgeist in it, although you wouldn’t know it just on the surface. The way artificial intelligence (AI) will ‘play’ with humanity, how we’ll interact with AI. Robots. Sustainability and sustainable environments. So any commissioner or curator that’s looking to capture some of our time and technology, but to show it back to the audience in a unique or screw-ball way. {laughs}

Also, I think even collectors that can see value in the collision of various designs and technology. What Oddtoe creates isn’t ‘hang-on-your-wall-and-forget-it’ art. “Perfect’ is a strong word, but creative visionaries looking to participate in the next wave of installation art history would close to ‘perfect’.

As a Installation Artist, What’s Your ‘Perfect’ Project?

Is there one? {scratches his head}

My perfect piece would participate with the audience or the individual who is in the immediate vicinity of the installation. An idea I’m playing with at the moment through my new installation art series, Botanikus Goiterus, is for plant to ‘speak’ via elaborately-designed translators to people. The messages the plants give to humans, however, are generated by an AI and adapt via the back-and-forth with a person, therefore putting more data, more happy accidents into the plant’s words and sentences.

So a perfect installation art project is one that opens doors to new ways to leverage technology. Although, Oddtoe isn’t going to imagine straightforward and productive use of this technology! I tend to find the opposite of the ‘killer app’ that Silicon Valley types talk about. {laughs}

What’s the Last Crazy Thing You Thought About Installation Art?

Yea, I think the Botanikus Goiterus project pretty much answers this question. Anytime you imagine exotic plantlife wired up, complimenting and romantically hitting on humans — I think that qualifies as crazy. {laughs}

Come to think of it, however: The truly crazy thought is the thought of uplifting art, humorous art.

The world can be a bleak place. And I think the arts, in general, celebrate melancholy and stark subjects too frequently. Just as positive psychology now has a ‘seat at the table’ in that field, my hope is the type of installation art that I create as Oddtoe — positive art — would find its rightful position in the field of visual art.

Now that’s a crazy thought!