Artist Statement  

 

My name is Joseph Ayers.  I am an artist, educator, and curator.  These three practices continually inform my ideas and work, and I am humbly, forever thankful to the artists, students and teachers whom I've worked with.  Much of my personal inspiration wells from growing up in rural Gulf Coast Florida working as the son of a shrimper and handyman, and also from my experiences serving as an Electrical Lineman in the United States Air Force while I was stationed in Alaska throughout the 1990s.  Following my enlisted service, I began to study Fine Art at the University of New Orleans with a focus in digital media, and afterward pursued a Masters of Fine Art from Hunter College City University of New York with a focus in Combined Media.   As an MFA student I began making connections with my past through art making, and naturally focused on relationships I witnessed between the rapidly changing landscape and a modern renaissance of new technologies. Directly after Graduate School I began my teaching career, developing classes that fused together contemporary theory, analog, hands-on art making, and digital tools and techniques in compositing, video and animation.  I currently live and work in the Hudson Valley of New York with my wife and daughter, and teach interdisciplinary courses Part Time at Parsons School of Design.

 

As a multi-media artist I think a lot about appearances and perceptions, and how relationships between these two things shape everything we experience.  I also think about how technology currently dictates appearances, as well as our perceptions of them.  We are experiencing a dramatic shift in technology that fundamentally alters the way we perceive and experience objects, space and time.  In my work I composite traditional media (drawing, painting and sculpture), new technology (Virtual and Augmented Reality), video, sound and animation, to explore both connections and disparity between the analogue and digital worlds we inhabit.  Inevitably this combined-media approach leads to abstracted personal narratives that reflect on the changing landscape, as well as how technology reshapes the social and political landscapes. I feel a strong connection to the Dada and Surrealist artists of the turn of the century, and their impulse to raise questions about conventions, challenge perceptions, and expand the borders of art, is at the core of my practice.  Integrating found objects, live edge wood, repurposed building materials, new media devices and technology, video, sound and animation, as well as traditional drawing, painting and sculpture, my work subtly challenges what we are witnessing as the divide between the analogue and digital grows deeper.