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Mark Dotzler Contemporary Affinity


Mark Dotzler Contemporary Affinity

Works from 1993 — 2014


Mark Dotzler Contemporary Affinity

Works from 1993 — 2014

Curated by TechHead

University Lofts・Saint Louis


Contents 9 Forward 10 Wired for Thought 12 Binary

Brandi Willis

DeskSet

17 Contemporary Affinity: Works 100 List of Works 105 Comments on Selected Works


Forward Mark Dotzler is an American artist making predominately technology based minimal sculpture. His work has been described as light and heavy in the same moment; eye catching and quiet in a single glance. He loves metal, science and technology—and also fantasy. In 1993 he decided to focus his work broadly on the digital age and its incredible capacity to transform society. Deep relational aesthetics sometimes play an important role in his work (similar to what Nicholas Bourriaud describes, but expanded and including some of Theodor Adorno’s thoughts on “truth-content”, societal commentary, et cetera). Dotzler’s work is also influenced by the minimal artists of the 20th century, but instead of using the industrial materials of the 60’s period, he often uses today’s more scientifically advanced materials and many of the technological things that surround us all. Computer microchip silicon wafers, computer hard drives, aerials and thermionic valves (early binary devices) are just some of the materials he began using when he first started making artwork at the age of forty. His artwork contemplates contemporary nomenclature, relational dimensions and material societal issues. Mark Dotzler has site-specific pieces at The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and also has done major outdoor commissioned sculpture work for the Catholic Church.


Wired for Thought

profile

Brandi Willis

With pieces that are highly inspirational and resourceful, tech artist Mark Dotzler creates commentary on the technological revolution. “My work blends a love of minimalism with my deep interest in technology and the dramatic societal impact it is having.” “Learning to work with metal is one of the hardest things I’ve done,” says artist Mark Dotzler, as he examines and contemplates the pieces displayed in his studio. This statement holds a lot of weight when you consider Mark’s past. Born and raised in St. Louis, Mark spent many years in the business field living and working in cities around the world, including San Francisco and Hong Kong.


Upon retuning to St. Louis, Mark got involved with the City’s redevelopment mission and rehabilitated some of the major historic buildings in the area. So how did a world traveler and development executive end up as an artist, working in a Washington Avenue studio? “I was simply dissatisfied with the business world,” Mark says. “I wanted to do something good. I wanted to create something that would last, that would make people think about the world around them.” He spent 10 years working with architects, craftsmen and other artists to hone his skills in high-end fabrication. Mark found his materials of choice in metal and technological equipment. “The 21st century is the beginning of the digital revolution,” he says, “and the materials I use impact the lives of people around the world.” From hard drives and silicon wafers to the simplicity of antennas and electrical wire, Mark’s sculptures transform everyday materials into works of art, inspiring his audience to consider their abundance and role in our society. “Art is about playing,” he says, “but it’s about inspiring others, too. These are conceptual pieces that ask you to think about the evolution of art, to look into the future and ask ‘what’s next?’” Complex and stunning, each piece meshes beauty with brains. “I would describe the art I create as techie art. It has an elegant, cool look with a touch of digital fantasy...however you want to describe it, it’s unlike anything you’re used to seeing.” Heavy Metal A number of Mark’s pieces are currently on display at Washington University’s downtown art and living facility, University Lofts.

Saint Louis Homes & Lifestyles Photograph credit—Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton


Binary

COR-TEN DeskS et

Mark Dotzler has contributed to many high-end fabrication projects in both metal and wood for architects, designers and other artists through his associations with several highly accomplished master craftsmen over the years. One set of projects, while working with John Lesch, a wood master craftsman, was for the new Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts designed by the renowned Japanese architect, Tadao Ando, who in addition to designing that wonderful building, also designed several furniture pieces especially for it. One of those pieces was the foundation’s leadership desk that was initially planned for Joseph Pulitzer, who had worked for many years with his wife Emily to bring the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts vision into being. While working with Lesch on that desk project [fig. 1], Mark Dotzler was given the opportunity by the Pulitzer to create some special artwork for that special desk. His concept involved two separate pieces of artwork, that together would form a very site-specific, COR-TEN steel, DeskSet, titled Binary [fig. 5]. The location was extraordinary; the incredible Tadao Ando designed building, the president’s office with a Brancusi sculpture and a window overlooking Richard Serra’s massive, torqued ellipse, COR-TEN steel sculpture, Joe [fig. 3]. Dotzler’s initial piece, inside joe (link) [fig. 2], is the desk’s grommet that he chose to make out of the same steel as Joe, but instead of being rusted, it is beautifully hand finished. This small, sitespecific piece not only refers (or links) to the inside of Richard Serra’s wonderful Joe sculpture (deep beyond its COR-TEN steel rust…to the inner metal), but also to Joe Pulitzer’s love of art (his


Fig. 1. President’s desk just after being delivered to The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

Fig. 2. inside joe (link). 2001 COR-TEN steel, 0.1 x 2.1 x 3.5 inches shown in presentation box

Fig. 3. Richard Serra’s COR-TEN steel Joe and the office windows at The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts


inside) which is fully shown in the foundation for the arts that he and Emily created together. So, on January 14, 2002, a small installation ceremony (subtly choreographed), took place in President’s office of The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. On that day, a seemingly insignificant desk grommet was elevated to fine art, serving as a wonderful finishing touch for an incredible arts foundation. The second part of the Binary set [fig. 5] is missing joe [fig. 4], which is significant through both its minimal and relational aesthetics. This piece relates to the fact Joe Pulitzer was’t there to experience the wonderful foundation for the arts that he and Emily had carefully planned for together and was sadly missing from the leadership desk that had been intended for him. Another important and interesting aspect is related to technology, in that the two pieces (a binary set) of artwork create a subtle 01, the essence of the digital age. The 01 further serves to commemorate the foundation’s 2001 opening, in addition to a very transformative time in our history. The petite missing joe COR-TEN steel sculpture is delightfully juxtaposed with Richard Serra’s massive COR-TEN steel sculpture, Joe, just outside the window. Note: missing, joe employs the COR-TEN steel cut out left from the making of inside, joe (link), which was then carefully weathered over several years, prior to mounting. It represents the void left through the loss of Joseph Pulitzer directly, but also symbolically, as corporate-government “managed” news became fully apparent, exposing mainstream media’s intentional and frightening loss of honestly, backbone, ethical standards and basic journalistic credibility.


Fig. 4. missing joe. 2007 COR-TEN steel, stainless steel, 3.25 x .8 x .8 inches shown with presentation box

Fig. 5. Binary. 2007 COR-TEN steel, stainless steel, 3.25 x 2.1 x 7 inches


Contemporary Affinity

Works from 1993 — 2013


1. wireless world. 2001 stainless steel, aerials, glass h.53 x w.10 x d.10 cm (21 x 4 x 4 inches)


2. Wi-Fi. 2002 computer chip silicon wafers, aerials, pvc h.17 x w.99 x d.9 cm (46 x 39 x 3.5 inches)


3. hot. 1996 thermionic valves, wire, cable, lens, metal h.122 x w.30 x d.28 cm (48 x 12 x 11 inches)


4. Wireless. 2000 aluminum, aerials h.183 x w.254 x d.127 cm (72 x 100 x 50 inches)


5. favorites. 1993 bouncy doorstops, pewter sphere h.28 x w.28 x d.28 cm (11 x 11 x 11 inches)


7. telco. 2002 stainless steel, aerials h.46 x w.10 x d.14 cm (18 x 4 x 5.5 inches)


8. Wired. 1993 thermionic valves, wire, cable, metal h.127 x w.277 x d.30 cm (50 x 109 x 12 inches)


9. hard drive. 1994 computer hard drive, thermionic valves, mask, metal h.79 x w.25 x d.28 cm (31 x 10 x 11 inches)


10. Blackwhite. 2006 stainless steel, wood, inflatable neoprene h.50 x w.175 x d.11 cm (19.5 x 69 x 4.5 inches)


11. virtual. 1993 computer chip silicon wafer, aerials, steel h.43 x w.20 x d.23 cm (17 x 8 x 9 inches)


12. dark air. 2009 inflatable neoprene, aluminum h.48 x w.28 x d.25 cm (19 x 11 x 10 inches)


13. Air. 2012 inflatable laryngeal mask airways, wood h.30 x w.16 x d.15 cm (12 x 6.5 x 6 inches)


14. five dark pixels. 2006 inflatable neoprene, insulation, mdf h.51 x w.315 x d.28 cm (20 x 124 x 11 inches)


15. block. 2014 hexcel, aluminum h.94 x w.51 x d.22 cm (37 x 20 x 8.5 inches)


16. Gig. 1993 computer hard drives, computer chip silicon wafers h.102 x w.305 x d.30 cm (40 x 120 x 12 inches)


17. node. 2002 computer chip silicon wafer, anodized aluminum h.20 x w.20 x d.9 cm (8 x 8 x 3.5 inches)


18. stealth. 1997 stealth fighter fragment, stainless steel h.30 x w.18 x d.14 cm (12 x 7 x 5.5 inches)


19. streaming. 2005 stainless steel h.221 x w.36 x d.30 cm (87 x 14 x 12 inches)


20. flying heads. 2009 wood, computer hard drives, glass, light h.39 x w.11 x d.18 cm (15.5 x 4.25 x 7 inches)


21. router. 2002 aerials, stainless steel h.39 x w.15 x d.16.5 cm (15.5 x 6 x 6.5 inches)


22. jackson. 2008 hexcel, steel cable, aluminum h.30.5 x w.40.5 x d.15 cm (12 x 16 x 6 inches)


23. fat web pipe. 2002 stainless steel, aluminum, glass h.107 x w.11.5 x d.16.5 cm (42 x 4.5 x 6.5 inches)


24. evidence. 2000 box, computer hard drives, light, cord h.23 x w.23 x d.19 cm (9 x 9 x 7.5 inches)


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25. byte. 2008 titanium longeron, bulbs, steel spheres, pvc, computer chip silicon wafer h.43 x w.188 x d.10 cm (17 x 74 x 4 inches)


26. harry. 2007 hexcel, aluminum, steel cable h.53 x w.40.5 x d.15 cm (21 x 16 x 6 inches)


27. Reload (vicious circle). 2012 machine gun belt feed h.34 x w.34 x d.20 cm (13.5 x 13.5 x 8 inches)


28. The Split. 2007 aluminum, books, iPod countdown program h.66 x w.51 x d.46 cm (26 x 20 x 18 inches)


29. Reload (constant war). 2006 machine gun belt feed h.35.5 x w.114 x d.41 cm (14 x 45 x 16 inches)


30. cellular. 1995 hexcel, stainless steel, insulation h.145 x w.84 x d.33 cm (57 x 33 x 13 inches)


31. Wi-Fi. 2002 thermionic valves, wire, cable, metal h.122 x w.292 x d.9 cm (48 x 115 x 3.5 inches)


32. virus. 2001 stainless steel, aerials h.56 x w.79 x d.19 cm (22 x 31 x 7.5 inches)


33. hook up. 2002 stainless steel hooks, aluminum h.13 x w.152 d.8 cm (5 x 60 x 3 inches)


34. Reload (vicious circle). 2010 machine gun belt feed h.23 x w.23 x d.23 cm (9 x 9 x 9 inches)


35. cloud. 2004 computer hard drive disks, steel, aerial h.18 x w.9 x d.9 cm (7 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches)


36. dark fibre. 2012 fibre optic cable, steel h.28 x w.10 x d.10 cm (11 x 4 x 4 inches)


37. Cross Shadow. 2007 stainless steel (316 L) h.6.7 x w.4.5 x d.3 meters (22 x 15 x 10 feet)


38. shadow box. 2009 hexal, aluminum h.57 x w.39 x d.18 cm (22.5 x 15.5 x 7 inches)


39. inside joe (link). 2001 COR-TEN steel h.0.25 x w.5.33 x d.9 cm (0.1 x 2.1 x 3.5 inches) shown in presentation box


40. missing joe. 2007 COR-TEN steel, stainless steel h.8.25 x w.2.03 x d.2.03 cm ( 3.25 x .8 x .8 inches) shown with presentation box


41. Binary. 2007 COR-TEN steel, stainless steel h.8.25 x w.5.33 x d.18 cm (3.25 x 2.1 x 7 inches)


List of Works

in order of appearance

1. wireless world. 2001 stainless steel, aerials, glass h.53 x w.10 x d.10 cm (21 x 4 x 4 inches) Adam Aronson collection, USA 2. Wi-Fi. 2002 computer chip silicon wafers, aerials, pvc h.17 x w.99 x d.9 cm (46 x 39 x 3.5 inches) Schmidt collection (one unit - steel mount), USA 3. hot. 1996 thermionic valves, wire, cable, lens, metal h.122 x w.30 x d.28 cm (48 x 12 x 11 inches) 4. Wireless. 2000 aluminum, aerials h.183 x w.254 x d.127 cm (72 x 100 x 50 inches) 5. favorites. 1993 bouncy doorstops, pewter sphere h.28 x w.28 x d.28 cm (11 x 11 x 11 inches) 7. telco. 2002 stainless steel, aerials h.46 x w.10 x d.14 cm (18 x 4 x 5.5 inches) 8. Wired. 1993 thermionic valves, wire, cable, metal h.127 x w.277 x d.30 cm (50 x 109 x 12 inches) 9. hard drive. 1994 computer hard drive, thermionic valves, mask, metal h.79 x w.25 x d.28 cm (31 x 10 x 11 inches) 10. Blackwhite. 2006 stainless steel, wood, inflatable neoprene h.50 x w.175 x d.11 cm (19.5 x 69 x 4.5 inches)


11. virtual. 1993 computer chip silicon wafer, aerials, steel h.43 x w.20 x d.23 cm (17 x 8 x 9 inches) 12. dark air. 2009 inflatable neoprene, aluminum h.48 x w.28 x d.25 cm (19 x 11 x 10 inches) 13. Air. 2012 inflatable laryngeal mask airways, wood h.30 x w.16 x d.15 cm (12 x 6.5 x 6 inches) 14. five dark pixels. 2006 inflatable neoprene, insulation, mdf h.51 x w.315 x d.28 cm (20 x 124 x 11 inches) 15. block. 2014 hexcel, aluminum h.94 x w.51 x d.22 cm (37 x 20 x 8.5 inches) 16. Gig. 1993 computer hard drives, computer chip silicon wafers h.102 x w.305 x d.30 cm (40 x 120 x 12 inches) 17. node. 2002 computer chip silicon wafer, anodized aluminum h.20 x w.20 x d.9 cm (8 x 8 x 3.5 inches) 18. stealth. 1997 stealth fighter fragment, stainless steel h.30 x w.18 x d.14 cm (12 x 7 x 5.5 inches) 19. streaming. 2005 stainless steel h.221 x w.36 x d.30 cm (87 x 14 x 12 inches) 20. flying heads. 2009 wood, computer hard drives, glass, light h.39 x w.11 x d.18 cm (15.5 x 4.25 x 7 inches) 21. router. 2002 aerials, stainless steel h.39 x w.15 x d.16.5 cm (15.5 x 6 x 6.5 inches)


22. jackson. 2008 hexcel, steel cable, aluminum h.30.5 x w.40.5 x d.15 cm (12 x 16 x 6 inches) 23. fat web pipe. 2002 stainless steel, aluminum, glass h.107 x w.11.5 x d.16.5 cm (42 x 4.5 x 6.5 inches) 24. evidence. 2000 box, computer hard drives, light, cord h.23 x w.23 x d.19 cm (9 x 9 x 7.5 inches) 25. byte. 2008 titanium longeron, bulbs, steel spheres, pvc, computer chip silicon wafer h.43 x w.188 x d.10 cm (17 x 74 x 4 inches) 26. harry. 2007 hexcel, aluminum, steel cable h.53 x w.40.5 x d.15 cm (21 x 16 x 6 inches) 27. Reload (vicious circle). 2012 machine gun belt feed h.34 x w.34 x d.20 cm (13.5 x 13.5 x 8 inches) 28. The Split. 2007 aluminum, books, iPod countdown program h.66 x w.51 x d.46 cm (26 x 20 x 18 inches) 29. Reload (constant war). 2006 machine gun belt feed h.35.5 x w.114 x d.41 cm (14 x 45 x 16 inches) 30. cellular. 1995 hexcel, stainless steel, insulation h.145 x w.84 x d.33 cm (57 x 33 x 13 inches) 31. Wi-Fi. 2002 thermionic valves, wire, cable, metal h.122 x w.292 x d.9 cm (48 x 115 x 3.5 inches) 32. virus. 2001 stainless steel, aerials h.56 x w.79 x d.19 cm (22 x 31 x 7.5 inches)


33. hook up. 2002 stainless steel hooks, aluminum h.13 x w.152 d.8 cm (5 x 60 x 3 inches) Private collection, USA 34. Reload (vicious circle). 2010 machine gun belt feed h.23 x w.23 x d.23 cm (9 x 9 x 9 inches) 35. cloud. 2004 computer hard drive disks, steel, aerial h.18 x w.9 x d.9 cm (7 x 3.5 x 3.5 inches) 36. dark fibre. 2012 fibre optic cable, steel h.28 x w.10 x d.10 cm (11 x 4 x 4 inches) 37. Cross Shadow. 2007 stainless steel (316 L) h.6.7 x w.4.5 x d.3 meters (22 x 15 x 10 feet) Roman Catholic Church collection, USA 38. shadow box. 2009 hexal, aluminum h.57 x w.39 x d.18 cm (22.5 x 15.5 x 7 inches) 39. inside joe (link). 2001 COR-TEN steel h.0.25 x w.5.33 x d.9 cm (0.1 x 2.1 x 3.5 inches) shown in presentation box Pulitzer collection, USA 40. missing joe. 2007 COR-TEN steel, stainless steel h.8.25 x w.2.03 x d.2.03 cm ( 3.25 x .8 x .8 inches) shown with presentation box Pulitzer collection, USA 41. Binary. 2007 COR-TEN steel, stainless steel h.8.25 x w.5.33 x d.18 cm (3.25 x 2.1 x 7 inches) Pulitzer collection, USA


Comments on Selected Works

Works from 1993 — 2014


telco -- whispers of its ominous side...the omnipresent eyes of the corporate-government surveillance state and the ghastly hi-tech panopticon that is now in place and storing everything we do. (A panopticon -- literally “all-seeing” in the Greek -- is a prison where the guards can watch the prisoners without the latter knowing when they are doing it.)

Reload (vicious circle) — is related to the circular reasoning or logical fallacy in our disgusting and illegal resource and profit wars and “interventions”, torture and other blatant crimes against humanity, conspicuous murder and unjust monetary policies that promulgate havoc and discord throughout the world.


Wired -- is created from components of the first electronic computers (like Colossus & ENIAC). Wired provides a physical presence for our early notions of being “online” (remember those early dial-up modem sounds). Wired heralded the (www) digital age and its incredible transformational power...like an early signpost on the now archaic “Information Superhighway”.


evidence — it has become a common practice by authorities in recent years to confiscate the computer hard drives of all persons of interest (taking their memories). This is significant when you consider that not too long ago an individual’s library records were private, respected and only made available to authorities in the most extreme cases.  This piece is part of Dotzler’s memory box series.


flying heads — part of the memory box series. The flying heads are the amazing little pads on the finger like devices in computer hard drives that readwrite the 1s and 0s of binary code.


Wireless — is currently located in Washington University’s Des Lee Gallery lobby, at University Lofts. Aerials (visible ones) have significance since they are very close to being a thing of the past, while also being able to symbolize and give physicality to the incredible communications revolution the world is witnessing.  Wireless communications have been around for sometime, but have had new significance in recent years and are now exploding throughout the entire world.  This piece of artwork is also an “interactive” and can dramatically change size and form (like communication networks today).


Gig — is also displayed in Washington University’s Des Lee Gallery lobby, in downtown Saint Louis. This piece employs one of the most basic elements of art, that of putting memories on walls...man has been doing that since the beginning of time…that it is art.  Here the artist does it at the dawn of the 21 st century...the early part of the digital revolution.  “These are corporate memories (mainframe)…a single gigabyte, weighing almost 400 pounds”.  Note:  The silicon wafer  (a computer microchip’s foundational layer) is the physical place…the exact location and surface where we are now being completely transformed…a transformation that is having dramatic societal implications...as we all know, “The digital revolution is changing everything!”  The microchip (or integrated circuit) is the engine driving the digital age.


Wi-Fi — is similar to Wireless in that it also attempts to give physicality to the omnipresent yet ethereal digital networks, which surround us all today. Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) systems and cellular devices are basically just silicon chips, aerials and power.  Note: The number of nodes (units) varies from installation to installation.  “Like notes in the air...the ones and zeros of binary code.”


Blackwhite — …black & white, light & dark, occur often in my work…maybe it comes from the conclusions I’ve reached about our overall state of affairs. Consider also the real aim of Orwell’s Newspeak. The dark side of this artwork puffs up, just like some dark souls in the real world (i.e. you may recall the Iraq “war” justification and American torture sites).  It uses inflatable roho, a tech material known to many physically challenged people.  Blackwhite was exhibited at The Paraquad Show in St. Louis, an organization that supports the physically challenged (many, due to our imperialistic wars.  This piece offers depth and a cool elegance, while also being playful and interactive at the same time.


Reload (propaganda) -- besides the corporate-government propaganda and useless fluff we are feed by mainstream media on a daily basis, now the U.S. government has decided to really cut loose and just recently Repealed its own Domestic Propaganda Ban (also see this) that has long protected (kind of) American citizens from government propaganda. So, with this new development they have actually legalized purposeful mass deception and lying. This work is not included the above listing.


The Split — uses an iPod countdown program and the shadow of a “High School Physics” book to represent World Trade Center, Building #7 that fell into its own footprint at free fall speed (6.5 seconds) on the after noon of September 11, 2001. We were told that fire caused it to fall, but that is impossible and defies the most basic Laws of Physics.  The title, The Split, has a number of meanings here, but mainly refers to a split with reality that occurred on 9/11 (and obviously ever since).  It also refers to the split in society…between those who are aware and those who are not (some willfully so, like in this ).


byte — …it’s for simple beauty and a byte of code.


Reload (constant war) -- ‌ what more needs to be said before we come together and put an end to this insanity?


Mark Dotzler — Contemporary Affinity: Works from 1993 — 2013 Curated by TechHead

Designed by Mac Head Copy editing and proofreading by Mac Head Image production by Mac Head Printed by Mac Head in the USA

Published at University Lofts — Saint Louis ISSUU on the Web

© Mark Dotzler, Saint Louis. All rights reserved. Published in the USA

Cover: Binary Two. 2014 Uses inside joe (link) as an element of the design.

P. 5: Mark Dotzler cleaning welds on the Cross Shadow project at an aerospace and defense contractor’s facility. 2007

P. 8: Mark Dotzler at his studio, Saint Louis. 2012

P. 99: Mark Dotzler cleaning welds on his Cross Shadow project at an aerospace and defense contractor’s facility. 2007

P. 104: Mark Dotzler at his studio, Saint Louis. 2012

Text credits Mac Head

Photograph credits Mark Dotzler, Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton

For more information go to:


Profile for Mark Dotzler

Mark Dotzler: Contemporary Affinity  

Artwork based in technology -- Artist Mark Dotzler creates visual works that contemplate tech nomenclature, relational dimensions and societ...

Mark Dotzler: Contemporary Affinity  

Artwork based in technology -- Artist Mark Dotzler creates visual works that contemplate tech nomenclature, relational dimensions and societ...

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