Christyn Overstake

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#6, 2014
Quick Facts
Birth year
Lives in
Works in
Solsberry, IN
Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi, 2014, MFA

    The intersection of contradictory ideologies can result in violent collision, or it can generate inquisitive exploration into the potential for simultaneity. Injection of playfulness and embracing the unexpected within the parameters of craft associated with specific materials can result in an unpredictable, organic industrial object.  Amber Scoon, artist and theorist, states, “Form and the activities that create form are one thing. Form cannot be separated from the activities that create form, and form and creation cannot be separated from their symmetrical nature of possibilities,” and “the act of creation involves observation and imagination, play and desire.”    
     In the ideology of some naturalists and environmental activists, such as Edward Abbey and Derrick Jensen, unceasing human progress results in the destruction of land base and biosphere, as well as the mental and emotional wellbeing of the human populace. However, “a weird, lovely, fantastic object out of nature…has the curious ability to remind us- like rock and sunlight and wind and wilderness- that out there is a different world, older and greater and deeper than ours, a world which surrounds and sustains the little world of men” (E. Abbey). My work is exploration informed via the disjunction of values and experience.  I align with ideology declaring that “The needs of the natural world are more important than the needs of the economic system,” as said by Derrick Jensen. I am also a precision metal fabricator by trade. Within my work, this contradictory dynamic is subtle; my objects are often experimental, revelatory of the fundamental properties of process and industrial material, and executed with a desire for playful, unexpected, and often highly organic forms. 
    My media are defined by professional experience in production manufacturing in a skilled trade; steel, aluminum, plastics, as well as cast iron and bronze. My processes maintain adherence to the primacy of craft as well as the potential of the unanticipated. Production as a cultural mentality establishes expectations and social norms. The requirements and standards are based in a paradigm of perfection based on sameness. The rhetoric defining the ultimate goal of production is more production, increased efficiency, and more units. The sameness of object is the primary function of craft in the trades, and the world is flooded with endless identical copies.
    Technology, in its current vernacular applications, is referential to electronics, digital or computerized gadgetry. The contemporary application of the word appears consequential of the age of modernity (in art, the movement of Modernism). Current culture maintains the modern fetishization of the new. However, the technology associated with traditional industry continues to create and define the tangible world in which we exist, and as of yet has not found reconciliation with humans or the larger biosphere.
    My objects are artifacts, remnants of the processes used to create them. In my work, the use of multiples subverts the standard of traditional production; each incarnation of the process yields a different and unpredictable result.  The use of evidence of process within the aesthetic dialogue addresses craft, skill, and productivity; labor generating tangible evidence. Productivity, in opposition to production, serves human intent and interest, not solely the demands of contemporary neo-liberal economics. The word technology is derivative of the Greek techne; the human ability to make with ones hands, or the practical application of skill. Productivity allows the practice of skill that generates relationship with materials, intimate knowledge of process; the potential to engage in experimentation that can result in predictable and precise or unexpected and evocative outcomes. Productivity allows for the experimentation and potential failure that generate development, not the hollow pursuit of pure progress. Contemporary technology includes all that humanity has the ability to create.
    My objects could be classified as abstractions, derivative of forms found in nature. They are mimetic, but in the framework of the “inseparable activities of observation, imagination and creation” (Scoon).  The objects are, more accurately, forms that explore the fundamental properties of media. They are a pursuit of relationship and understanding on a deeper level than one of novelty. They explore techniques developed by craftspeople and artists alike, in conjunction with organic influence, in the attempt to expound upon the intersection of form and creation.