Jim Haynes

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South Carolina Arson Site #1, Photo #4, 2011 Corroded Photograph 20" X 16" © courtesy of the Artist and the Lab
© Courtesy of the Artist and Electric Works
Surveillance Camera Video
Merapi Aftermath, 2012 Silver Gelatine And Rust 16" X 20" © Courtesy of the Artist and Electric Works
Quick Facts
sound art photography, conceptual, exhibition/performance

I rust things.

This statement has been at the center for my work for over a decade now, embracing a multiplicity of meanings. Initially, I began my investigations into rust and decay as a means to detour my shortcomings as an oil-painter; and I found myself working with mangled surfaces and corroded objects constructed from wood, paper, metal, glass, light, and photographs. The latter proved to be noteworthy, as I discovered a means of re-activating the photosensitive properties of silver gelatin prints and embedding distressed copper and steel into the surface of the photographs. Not only did this result in a unique patina, but it also introduced time into my work as these photographs demonstrated an ongoing visual transformation. At first, this reaction would be quite pronounced; but even after many years, these corroded photographs exhibited subtle shifts in their bruised surfaces. 

Within my current body of work, I continue to investigate the properties of decay. Specifically, I have focused on how decay parallels and relates to the perception of time when cycles of activity dwindle toward stasis. While I still incorporate much of the visual sensibilities from those aforementioned processes, sound has emerged as a central medium for my current installations and performances. Drawing from shortwave radio static, electric field disturbances, controlled feedback manipulation, and numerous textural scrapings, I manifest a broken minimalism whose magnetic drones give the impression of timelessness, when in fact the environment is quite active. This engineering of disparate materials and media seeks to evince the unpredictability of decay, to manifest its potential for a rough hewn beauty, and to bare witness to its inevitability.

Currently, I reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and have exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Electric Works (San Francisco), The Exploratorium (San Francisco), Westspace (Melbourne, Australia), Diapason (New York), Jack Straw Productions (Seattle), Works (San Jose), Eyedrum (Atlanta), The Fugitive Art Center (Nashville), and Varnish (San Francisco). I have participated in a number of fruitful colloborations with Loren Chasse, Keith Evans, Steven Stapleton, and M.S. Waldron. Since 2001, I have been active as the Editorial Director for 23five, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development and increased awareness of sound arts within the public arena. Through 23five, I co-curated the 2003 San Francisco Electronic Music Festival and the 2007 Activating The Medium Festival. Furthermore, I have written extensively on sound art, noise culture, minimalism, and general music experimentation for The Wire, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, Metro Pulse, The Sound Projector, and Chunklet.