Though trained as a painter, I have in recent years developed an art practice centered on building interactive sculptural installations using cardboard, wood, and other repurposed materials. These installations which employ the use of soundscapes and video elements, are pseudo-stages where the viewer becomes a part of a performance. There is no script for these plays, the work is driven by a contract between artist and participant to mine our collective memory. Collaboration is essential for bringing new breath to the creative process and the relationship between artist and viewer is the ultimate collaboration. As an artist, my goal is not to dictate meaning but to provide material for the viewer to construct their own. This interaction provokes questions of how we define the author, the reader and the power dynamics between the two roles. We all love stories, but we must be mindful of the context in which the story is being told and heard.
Being a white man from the Southern United States, I am endowed with a guilt for the South’s history, to reconcile the transgressions of my ancestors, I go forward with an open heart and open mind. Seeking to empower the viewer and engage them in discourse about the things that unite us. As our society transitions into one dominated by abstractions through technology, fake news and escapism, it seems we are in dire need of visceral experiences and personal connections. This has pushed me away from the canvas in pursuit of a new way of storytelling that uses all our senses. My hope is that the viewer will use these installations as an opportunity to question their own presence in this world and through that questioning find a voice to tell their own stories.
-Preston Drum 2018