|Artist Statement published in
Leonardo, The Journal of the Arts and Sciences, Fall 1996.
Traditional painting and sculpture no longer adequately capture the world in which we live. Time and technology have again caught up with the art world. By definition, life is anything but static. So, why not an art that is dynamic? After all, is that not what both Kinetic Art and Abstract Expressionism were all about? Energy, motion, life, light, contrast: Everything all at once or one at a time. Our visual language has continued to develop over the years. And since the making of art is a deeply personal effort, something else has had to develop. Something as unique as the moment which we inhabit.
Our spirit, our time, is composed of both energy and objects. My current path of exploration is in the creation of objects which transform the historically static observer into a dynamic participant. This is achieved by concealing different types of sensors connected to handcrafted electronic circuitry concealed within traditional art media. In the 1986 homage to Alex Grey's Sacred Mirrors, the piece Zen, was a life-size female figure composed of light in motion materializing in response to a viewer's presence for a few moments from blackness, only to vanish just as quickly as she arrived. With Riddle (1992), the invisible was rendered visible as sound was transformed into light. After Soul (1994), I became preoccupied with the problem of erasing the presence of objects and intimations of technological sleight of hand.
It was only by deconstructing the symbols I had begun to use as a vocabulary that I was able to free the spirit that is the essence of the work. Zoe, (1995), was a painstakingly constructed computer mediated installation in which the seemingly empty volume of a museum space mysteriously allowed for creative participation. Translated from Greek, "Zoe" means "Life." The challenge was to have the artwork be a metaphor for the mystery of being, of life. The installation operation was deceptively simple. The viewer entered a darkened space whereupon concealed sensors detected human presence. A bank of colorfully gelled theatrical lights switched softly on, illuminating a large area. For a short time (two minutes) viewers became participants and were able to move and dance about making music (or noise) with the movements of their shadows until the piece "died." There was no returning to enliven the work until the next cycle began.
Whether it is the exploration of loss, companionship, living, or dying, the challenge for me is to create propositions for the participant to take issue with - stimulating both reason and imagination.
© Peter Terezakis, 1996
50 West 22nd Street, NYC