ARTIST: Seth Lewis
TITLE: S.R.I (Sensory Reality Interface)
MATERIALS: Aluminum, polyurethane resin, motors and electronic
S. R. I. is a grounding system based upon the sense of touch.
It acts as a surrogate sense of touch in the absence of the
artist. The piece is simultaneously exploring its surroundings
and interacting with the viewer by moving and producing light/sound.
It grounds me as the artist through the action of touching both
the physical world and the metaphorical world of human awareness.
It has become my experience that no sense does more to connect
me to reality than touch. By touching I can extend myself past
the world of assumption that sight seems to provide and extend
myself into actual knowledge on the nature of a substance or
area; such as whether or not it is hard, soft, or rough. Touch
can also emphasize my awareness of the actual presence of other
Tactile sensation is the sense in my opinion that shows the
most emotion between humans. Although violence and expressions
of sentiment can be made through other means; no form of expression
seems to express better than those that include the act of actual
contact. I see S. R. I. as a prosthesis or extension of myself
that better allows me to stay within that realm (actual, not
dreamed or imagined, reality) and express my opinions on the
nature of touch.
As an artist it has become my desire to explore the various
forms of human interaction and the human condition as a whole.
My plan is to do this through the medium of machines. Machines,
along with having the ability to act out performances in the
absence of human performers, are to me an inherent part of human
existence. We are integrally linked to our technology and it
to us. These creatures or children that I create serve to help
me explore aspects of my own life and the lives of others that
I don't fully understand and feel like I need to express to
other people. The themes in this exploration will range from
sensuality and sentimentality to violence to the basic biological
needs such as eating and sleeping. As actors my pieces will
continuously perform their established tasks to properly express
my concerns and lines of query.
The question as to why I do not use human actors to do the work
is answered by the inherent nature of machines as tools without
the ability to bring in external influence or personal expression
that is carried by all beings with individuality ( though this
may change sometime in the near future). The machines are extensions
of myself and slave to my will as far as nature and physics
will allow; something that ethically I could not ask of other
people. If the nature of machine existence were to change so
would my viewpoint on the purpose and place of my pieces. I
do not mean that there is no emotional connection between me
and my art. This cannot be because of my belief. If I had no
feeling for them I would have no feeling for myself since they
are me and I them. As of now my pieces are nothing more than
body parts that express my thoughts and emotions.
Baton Rouge, LA
ere_i_am_jh1 AT hotmail.com