Research Statement

Contact: austin at theAustinStewart dot com

The art actions, objects, writing, documents, videos and installations which comprise my art practice are a multifaceted examination of human nature. The artwork attempts to sharpen the viewer's awareness of the social mechanics of our species and challenge the viewer to consider novel solutions to seemingly intractable disputes. The work is propelled by the desire to understand the rules which govern the behavior of our species internally (the mechanics of the mind) and externally (the mechanics of social interactions).

With each work there is an object, or event, which is the center around which the work rotates. All of the ephemera — videos, writing, flyers, performances, and websites — create a world for the art object and allow for expanded communication between the world of this object and our world. They are not documentation of the work, but a part of the work.

My purpose in making art is to learn through questioning cultural and personal assumptions about the world and to share that learning. To that end my work attempts to communicate in a way which is accessible and clear to a broad audience. The work adopts forms of exposition that are culturally familiar to reduce the effort the audience must make to engage with the work. The audience is not spoon-fed and at the same time not unduly burdened.

Though the work addresses various ethical quandaries, its goal is not to convince the audience to take a side in the debate, but to share in the experience of quandary on issues that will shape the future, or that allow for the consideration of the mechanics of our species.