JASON STEIN METALS
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Surreal Worlds
Surreal Worlds: Sculptural Forms and the Architecture of the Unconscious
MFA Thesis Installation - Fall 2010

The central theme I explore in my creative process and highlight in my works is the idea of control, both in the physical world around us and within our own consciousness. I am fascinated by the subtleties of the physical means of control we encounter throughout our daily lives such as locks, latches, ladders, grates, access hatches, walls, and barricades. I am also deeply interested in the overt and covert influence of those structures and systems that operate behind the scenes of everyday existence that influence and mold our experiential reality such as storm drains, sewers, utility maintenance areas, steam tunnels, and industrial facilities. I have a deep love for the manipulation of found objects and taking machines and mechanisms apart. I enjoy the process of altering an objects function and destiny, thereby controlling how an object is seen and interpreted by the viewer in contrast to its original context and form. Through the creation of my sculptural forms and objects, I seek to explore the nature of the unconscious mind, and create physical representations and reinterpretations of the structures of my internal mental landscape.
Accompanying each piece is a schematic technical diagram created from found illustrations and blueprints extracted from the reference materials I collect and catalog, which are modified and combined into a re-constructed reality of my own creation. The structural and textual information of the diagrams conform to my understanding of my interior thought processes as sub-system infrastructures and networks of support systems. Drawing upon my collection of source material, the individual diagrams contain elements from books on explosives and rock blasting, communication system infrastructure, drainage and municipal systems, metalworking, electronic systems, and physical security. The exact origins of a particular piece’s diagram components are not necessary for the viewer to know in order to form an associative interpretation and comparison to the physical object. The diagrams are both a complement to the physical pieces they reference and individual works in their own right. I use the same source imagery and working process for the creation of both bodies of work, whereas one deals with the organization of objects and materials and the other deals with information and logic pathways.
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