Linda Warren Projects kicks off the 2017 exhibition year with “Velocity,” an all-immersive experience by Chicago-based artist and musician Scott Carter. Both Gallery X & Y will feature large-scale installations and objects that bridge concepts of sound, sculpture, and design. All of the work in the exhibit was produced at the end of 2016 during a three-month Artist Residency at the Kohler Company in Wisconsin. That unique opportunity afforded Carter full access to their powerful manufacturing line, highly-skilled workers, and complete artistic freedom. It was then logical that his interest in music would inspire and lead him to create molds for the production of hundreds of musical objects made from their high-grade porcelain and glazes. The end result was a tremendous output of artwork that included five full drum kits, one hundred cymbals, guitar forms, and speakers in varying sizes and colors.
As a point of departure for this show, Carter explores the musical term “velocity” – a measure of how rapidly and forcefully a key on a keyboard is pressed when the player initially presses the key – as it relates to his experience at Kohler.
Throughout his residency, the artist witnessed an interesting and dynamic interplay between production, labor, and sound. The process of manufacturing toilets and other commercial products resonated for Carter as both visual and audio artistry, and right in his wheelhouse of creativity. Musical tones created by the exquisite material of porcelain invaded the workspace when the laborers would hit their products using mallets as an aspect of quality-control. The type of sounds emitted assists the manufacturers in ascertaining whether the quality of the material meets company standards or whether there is a flaw in the product and they need to be discarded. This surprising manifestation of material, design, and sound is what has interested Carter throughout his career and serves as the intersection where the artist examines, questions, and redefines the utility of the object.
“The physical development of my work is related to a tactile sense for materials. Through the process of examining materials and their function, I am interested in bestowing new value and subverting function, while affecting each object/spaces relationship to its surroundings. Translation is an appropriate term that can be used to describe the way I approach projects on a formal basis. Metaphorically these transitions in context and form align themselves conceptually with my interests in examining the way we experience culture, objects and physical environments.”
Carter re-contextualizes the produced porcelain objects, as well as other items, into different art forms that function on many different levels: PA speakers that fully function as sound producers, Guitar Cabinets that serve as amplifiers, sculptural objects and actual shelving units, and iconic musical heroes imprinted in tapestry weavings. Carter will also showcase a musical composition made up from individual tracks that were created by using a mixture of sounds (mallets hitting the toilets). Recordings by the artist at Kohler, during his residency, were later remixed and adapted into a more harmonic musical ballad that will be played from porcelain speakers as part of a large musical installation in Gallery X. Gallery Y will feature a large scale installation of one hundred porcelain cymbals along a 40’ wall that mimic music store showrooms. Overall, Carter seeks to create an immersive experience where sound, object, and environment challenge and shift the viewer’s perspective.
Velocity – “amounts to a playful and creative critique of the way we experience space and the items that inhabit them. Whether those inhabitants be inanimate objects or ourselves as the viewer I carefully consider each as an integral part of an experience, causing actions and reactions through their proximity to my work.” Scott Carter received his MFA in Sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2011 where he was the first recipient of the Eldon Danhausen Fellowship for Sculpture. He has attended funded residencies at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, Vermont and the Ox Bow School of Art in Saugatuck, Michigan. In addition, he is a recipient of the Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship for Midwestern artists (2013) and a first place recipient of the Beers Contemporary Emerging Artist Award in Sculpture (2013).