JESSE ERIC SCHMIDT Tell us a bit about your background. What are the most important influences that have moved you as an artist? I am obsessed with formulaically manipulating the body in relation to visual archetypes & performance goals. It is a coping tactic for buffering anxiety. There is immediate & measureable feedback on these experiments with the self. Iâ€™ve studied psychology & architecture. The fascinating topics for me were the procedural details of how an individual changes behavior in response to perceived group membership, & how their conduct is altered by environmental designs. My influential guide is derived from an algebraic body, a deconstructed mind, & contextual obedience.
Your body of work is complex and at the same time ironic and usable, partly because your work is not only in conventional exhibitions spaces, but also with your public actions you are in connection with the environment and casual viewers who encounter your actions. Could you explain more in detail, how would you describe your relationship with the public and with the environment? I try being an anonymous example of the public, while researching for new pieces, & during performances as much as possible. There is a strategy to be neutralized as just another human doing nothing special, until there is opportunity to precisely tweak that blended facade into a confusing instance of absurdity. I search for access points in the environment where I notice how a subtle modification could rupture its existing patterns through discomforting incongruence.
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