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Joshua R Sledge
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Gowanus



ARTIST STATEMENT: I work in a kind of improvised technology, combining cast-off high-tech electronics and control gear with handmade and homemade parts and machinery. I'm trying to discover something about what it means to make art objects in an age when few people know how to make or repair things and little is improvised anymore. This was not always so; only a few generations ago most Americans made their own clothes, did their own household repairs, cooked most meals from scratch. The majority of people worked either as farmers or in factories making things with their hands. Today the average American cannot sew a hem or drive a nail, much less maintain their home, bike, or car. We've reached this stage of material helplessness due not only to our reliance on technology but to our society's disdain for the craftsperson. We look down upon manual skill and clever re-purposing. We desire only the new and sleek; office jobs and advanced academic training. Where do artists fit in a world where everyone must have a business degree, a desk job, and everything manufactured far away on automated assembly lines? I want to pull high technology back down into a scrappy, improvised mode of making do. I want to make machines that force the viewer to look at new technology and rough&tumble, vibrant human improvisation side by side. I see the machines themselves as art objects. The panels often end up looking beautifully atmospheric and complex, but I believe they must exist in connection with the machine and process that created them. The tension between machine, idea, process, and product all vying to be "the art" is a driving force behind the work.
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  • Device 2.10
    2010
    steel, automation components   48x48x18 inches
    A machine for producing unique ink drawings using a proprietary digital/analog control system.

  • Device 2.10
    2010
    control panel detail

  • Device 2.10
    2010
    Drum actuator mechanism detail

  • Device 2.10
    2010
    Valve panel detail

  • Device 2.10
    2010
    Solenoid bank detail

  • 2.10F
    2010
    ink, gesso, acrylic on panel   24x4 inches
    Produced by Device 2.10

  • 2.10Y
    2010
    ink, gesso, acrylic on panel

  • 2.10U
    2010
    ink, gesso, acrylic on panel

  • 2.10B
    2010
    ink, gesso, acrylic on panel

  • Device 2.10
    2010
    Nozzle array detail

  • Device 2.10
    2010
    Electronics panel detail

  • Device 2.9b
    2009
    Steel, plastic, automation components   60x24x24 inches
    A device for producing unique built-up surface paintings using a special immersion, spray, and pneumatic agitator process.

  • Device 2.9b
    2009
    Pressure tank detail

  • Device 2.9b
    2009
    Control panel detail

  • Device 2.9b
    2009
    Splash guard detail

  • 2.9b-17
    2009
    acrylic, alkyd on board   6x6 inches
    Produced by Device 2.9b

  • 2.9b-23
    2009
    acrylic, alkyd on board   6x6 inches
    Produced by Device 2.9b
 








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