This is 5 Questions. Each week, we send five questions to an artist featured in Under the Radar, our weekly email highlighting the best art on the ArtSlant network. This week we seek answers from Lauren C. Sudbrink.
What are you trying to communicate with your work?
As an artist, musician, and performer my work is concerned with the possibilities of social engagement. Drawing on my early work in photography, my practice seeks to examine and assert the notion that art is never passive or static, but a constellation of systems and processes that determine, affirm, and condition our experiences. On account of this, my work is always political and is concerned as much with process as it is with product. My work explores the limits and gains of the simple gesture, employing common everyday objects as mediums such as glue, balloons, ice; simple performative gestures such as breathing onto glass, burning paper; and musical performances centered around non-hierarchical ways of sonic experience such as Fluxus instructional scores and music designed for non-musicians. Within this investigation, I am interested in illuminating the potentials in the overlooked, a strategy that, on a larger scale, speaks to the historical position of which the marginalized is often placed.
Ice Piece, 2017, Participatory performance with ice, cassette tapes, glass bowls, and sound, Duration variable
What is an artist’s responsibility?
For me, I believe it is an artist’s responsibility to engage visually and stimulate conversation through their work—sharing a message or movement, provoking action or reaction, making secrets or revealing them, asking questions, seeking answers and then asking more questions. There are often no answers for artists and that is what generates the vigor and unending drive with which they practice. If all questions were answered and all inquiries tied up neatly and efficiently, there would be no need to make anything. It is the constant curiosity and insatiable appetite to learn, teach, and make that fuels visual communication. Ideally, our making generates critical dialogue that transcends barriers of language and the need for answers—whether the questions are heavy and political or light and humorous, they drive culture and visualize what cannot always be spoken.
Show us the greatest thing you ever made (art or not)?
I wouldn’t say this is the best thing I’ve ever made, but this blanket I knitted for my cat is pretty great:
Tell us about a work you want to make but never will:
To start an artist colony on the moon.
Who are three artists we should know but probably don’t?
—The ArtSlant Team
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(Image at top: Wish Piece, 2017, Participatory performance with wishes and fire, Duration vartiable)