MG: This set of sculptural works (‘Speculative Display Units 1-6’) behave like figures? Are they dead yet?
JES: The sound component was an attempt to generate life into them. Once activated, they appear to be communicating amongst one another privately within the open acoustical space of the church...I feel as if they are making their last cry of late Capitalism.
MG: They are weak, low tones generated in congress and requiring close listening.
JES: Yes, its not meant to be a battle cry, but more the sound of the machine running down. The sound engages the acoustics particular to that space, and emphasizes a theatrical ending.
MG: A drone is a mode of music, and also a part of a meditative practice. Each object emits a drone and indicates figuration. -The last utterances of expiring bodies. The meditating group chants in hushed voices, urging a desire to move close, to join in, to participate with the group.
JES: The exhibition audience responded in a way that indicated an inquiry into these aural aspects, -touching the floor nearby, putting an ear to recesses, walking among the cluster noticing shifts in tonal signature.
MG: Behind the installation is an elevated alter and a set of silenced organ pipes. If these are dying bodies presented in a place of sanctuary, is this a resurrection narrative?
JES: Yes, but the resurrection is seen in another work, (‘A Taxonomy of Protestant Architecture’) -four video monitors displaying virtual tours of mega-church communities. The tours present re-imaginings of abandoned consumer spaces such as big and small box stores, dealerships and restaurants repurposed for places of worship.
MG: There are traces and resemblances to the original spaces, the architecture itself is resurrected.
JES: Mass Consumption becomes mass worship. In Protestantism a new religious vernacular takes shape to fit this architecture.
MG: From what are the sculptural forms derived?
JES: The first came from studying the formalism of retail display systems. Repeating some of its characteristics allowed me to explore variations of the display, staying within the same visual language in a modular, efficient manner. This is analogous to the modest variation that occurs within the repurposed architectures of the new church. It’s a modular system; when you enter one of these spaces, you have entered them all.
MG: Does the phenomenon of entering an ‘Anyspace’ design have a practical effect, or a spiritual one? Is an irrelevancy of a unique design experience a shift away from corporeal presence? An indication of the importance of dematerialization?
JES: In the Protestant view, design doesn’t matter in the spiritual sense; when Protestants broke from the Catholic Church they broke away from traditional church architecture, from statues, stained glass, iconography, -in the way that it had been envisioned and venerated. Church, for Protestants, represents a congregation of human beings regardless of site. It is therefore inherently a practical “Anyspace.” Because these things are not sacred -imagery, architecture, etc. the church is willing to appropriate and reimagine their vernacular to fit a wider culture. Consequently, there is a proliferation of logos for these churches that do not look like Christian iconography; rather, they resemble corporate logos or consumer brands. This is the new Protestant aesthetic, and it speaks more about secular culture than it does about Protestantism.
Artisanal whips made from recycled plastic shopping bags, 2015-16
plastic whip description on Etsy site:
"Amazing things happen when you submit!
Designed to battle against our habits of doubt, disbelief and discouragement of our consumer based guilt, whips made by Plastic Temptations help to transform those bad consumer habits into a positive guilt-free life. With your personal care in mind, these experimental toys have a traditional function with a modern appeal that allows you to take ownership of your consumptive habits through intimate self-play.
Each whip is handmade in Buffalo NY from 100% recycled plastic shopping bags ranging from boutique to dollar store in quality. This means that no two whips are exactly alike, each is beautiful and unique in its own right. By making our products with the finest shopping bags, we construct our whips to the highest possible quality standards while staying true to a want-not, waste-not philosophy. As a result, our HDPE (high density polyethylene) and LDPE (low density polyethylene) upcycled whips, are strong and GMO free! Due to their material make up you can be sure that they will last a life time, giving you a true peace of mind.
What once may have been a water bottle in a past life is now a true power accessory that uplifts with guilt-free affirmations! So don’t let negative guilt hold you back from finding and fulfilling your purpose in life!
-Hand created with love
-Fascinating details and hidden beauty
-whip packs in considerable pain and value
-great for use indoors
Plus! Each whip comes with 2, black, rubber coated hooks so that you can show off your guilt free life-style to friends! "
Etsy Page Screen Shot
Treating the iconography of Jesus Christ as an image of transformation I attempt to resituate and reestablish my relationship of Christianity and Consumerism. Through the act of chewing and regurgitating I create alternative "Christian iconography" in an aniconistic/communion-like ritual with a statue of Jesus Christ made entirely from Hubba Bubba bubble gum. The bubble gum functions as a common medium of popular culture that is never fully consumed; rather it finds itself as the unwanted byproduct of temporary enjoyment and satisfaction. Choosing to use the imagery of Jesus Christ along with this medium I wonder what parallels could be drawn between religious behavior and consumer behavior. This questioning allows for a closer examination of a modern Christianity that is easily consumed, commoditized, and redistributed through popular culture.
Masticate #9 (Wall)
Masticate #12 (Translation)
Masticate #4 (Bloom)
Masticate #5 (Shield)
Masticate #6 (Monument)
Masticate #10 (Reformation)
metal store shelving, peg board, custom hardware and LED lights