INSIDE/OUT: Brian Dettmer
As part of the INSIDE/OUT lecture series Brian Dettmer discusses his art, the ideas that inform his work and the processes that tie into his philosophy, through a series of images.
"I begin by discussing my earlier work with codes and communication systems that began incorporating book pages and explain how working with the material from books evolved into working with books as a conceptual focus and sculptural material. I will discuss ideas about the history and the future of the book, the relevancy of the issue and the position we are in now that most of our information has adapted to the digital format. I also introduce how working with books has made me consider other analog media including cassettes, records and maps that have all decreased in use in our recent history. We are at a pivotal moment as much of our media shifts from print to digital, from the tangible to the ephemeral. The book has been freed from its duties as the principal conveyer of content and we can access more information faster than ever before but the formats are constantly shifting and the lack of tangibly makes our personal and cultural records increasingly more fragile and unstable. I discuss the practical and conceptual consequences of our situation and how my work is an illustration and a metaphor for the recent history of the book but also for the way we remember, the way we record and tell stories, the way technology evolves and the way we have evolved to make sense of the world."
Brian Dettmer (b. 1974, Chicago IL) lives and works in New York. He has been the subject of solo exhibitions at numerous institutions including the Hermann Geiger Foundation, Cecina, Italy, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta, GA and the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Beach, VA. His works have been exhibited Internationally in shows at the Museum of Arts and Design, NY; The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC; The Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL; The High Museum, Atlanta, GA; and the Perez Art Museum, Miami, FL among others. Dettmer’s sculptures can be found in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, DC; The Art Institute of Chicago Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, IL; The High Museum, GA; and the Yale University Art Gallery, CT. He has lectured at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK and The New York Public Library, New York, NY and given a TED talk for the TED Youth Conference in 2014. Dettmer’s work has been featured in several publications and programs including The New York Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Chicago Tribune, Art News, Modern Painters, Wired, The Village Voice, Harper’s, CBS News and NPR. Brian Dettmer is represented by P•P•O•W Gallery in New York.
Tower of Babble, 2011, paperback books, acrylic varnish, 28” x 10-1/2” x 10-1/2”. Image courtesy of the Artist and P•P•O•W, New York