May-June 2012




I keep thinking of Will Smith's Parents Just Don’t Understand. Maybe it is that there is a new Men in Black movie out where Will is back at it, saving humanity from aliens. AGAIN. Here are a bunch of keys much larger than life?  What do they open? Life choices. Sometimes life choices can seem so daunting like there is no way out....or in. Things just seem out of bounds. When am I going to be tall enough to see the grocery store counter? Someday. What is beyond our universe? And beyond that one? And then beyond that one?  What is beyond the last and farthest thing we can see? Is seeing a door? Doors of perception. If Jim Morrison was at Surfrider Beach and the sun was setting, where would he go for dinner? Would he watch the stars and think about helicopters rolling over a tropical jungle, a zippo lighter in his pocket. Parents just DON'T understand. Maybe he has a show tonight at the Whiskey and he will go sing with sand in his beard, his face warm from the day of sun.

> View Jim Drain’s Keys to the Cosmos Exhibition
> View more work by Jim Drain
> Learn more about WARNING! This Is Contemporary Art
> See more of JEMA at the WARNING! exhibition



I am interested in making sculpture that utilizes the familiar to foster an unfamiliar, new and unrestrained awareness. While my primary focus is sculpture, my practice is informed by many different methodologies: by the breadth of knowledge found within textiles, the intuitive powers inherent to the properties of color, the collaborative methodology of music-making as well as music’s own mind-expanding properties. Making sculpture would seem to stand against technology’s drive to ever-compress information into smaller bits of ones and zeros. But, while my sculpture utilizes more orthodox ways of construction, it has provided the means to engage directly with these pertinent and synchronic questions.

I am engaged in the appropriation of digital forms, less so to illustrate or articulate modes of technology, but more so to find places where sculpture can expand upon our unique relationship to these intangible forces. This can be expressed in the remixing of meanings through the re-purposed mash-up of discordant materials such as the placement of a flattened aluminum can with a labor-intensive hand and machine-knit fabrics as found in vagabond. It can also be expressed in the exploration of the very architecture of computer information. For example, the structure of knitting is directly relational to 8-bit data; each row of knitting is a real form of contained data. In this way, textiles can ultimately be seen as the primary form of computing, not only evident in the punch cards of a jacquard machine, but more so in the very warp and weft of a woven fabric. In this way, my sculpture can be fully engaged with seemingly antithetical modes of specialization. The way we daily interface with technology can be seen as a question with a more broad historical precedence, one that far predates the invention of the iphone.

The invested meanings delegated to material, to images and design is remixed and playfully hybridized in my sculpture. This hybridization can be found in the interweaving of tie-dye with leopard print patterns as in sexy nerd ottoman or through the re-purposing of bathroom grab bars for the grab bar benches. This process illuminates a hidden system of the commonplace, providing ordinary objects with a different value. Salvaged fabric of goth metallic spiderwebs, raw silks, and used gym socks become elements of an unfamiliar territory. It is here the opportunity for a moment of new clarity can be found.