When and how did you get interested in Media Arts?
Two or three years ago my friends and I got invited to go party on the train tracks with the Barnum and Baily circus, so we went rode our bikes down to the tracks and met up with the people who play the part of clowns and Burlesque Dancers and such. Well long story short, we ended up partying to hard for the circus to have them eventually kick us out which then ended up into a brawl where the train master hit my friend C.J. in the face. I don’t remember much what happened after the fact, but I think that had something to do with me ending up in Media Arts. I wonder what Michelangelo Buonarroti would do in that instance. These times are weird. All times are weird.
Tell me about your recent piece entitled "Equals".
Well, it’s a three channel installation in which I worked with the composer Daryl Seaver(shes a music library monk). It’s about how things can be the same but different, and how one thing can be everything. From a man and a women bumping into each other, to having connected personal moments and then becoming disconnected. The same action and same shots being repeated but what happens when the roles are switched. From colors from within the scenes becoming matte colors that frame different channels that go in and out of sync which could be the same image manipulated different ways within the broken narrative and outside of it. The idea for the sound was that we would have two speaker channels that would be synchronous to the visual and then a separate track on the two speaker channels behind the viewer, so that every time you watched the same piece you would be watching a different piece from before. Eisenstein said something along the lines of you have to hear the visual and see the music. Watch it for yourself, I’m not that good at explaining my work, or else I wouldn’t have to make work, I could just write it down on paper and hand it to you. You need to ask yourself the questions.
What is your process, is it different from doing a drawing or sculpture?
Yes. It’s takes pieces from drawing and sculpture, but the main form of the medium for me is space and time and how I position the viewer within that context. It’s more like writing poetry or a composition. I come up with an idea or images and then write them down and then from there sketch out the piece and figure out everything from the positioning of the viewer and how they will view it optically, like mannerism painters such Gian Paolo Lomazzo who were concerned about perspective, to also what the viewer will hear the order they will hear things and the space between that frames the individual parts and also the whole. Then from there attempt to make what is in my sketchbook real. I always think as big as I can and then condense down because of logistics. While I am in the process of creating the work it can come out exactly what I have in my book or totally different, I am open to mistakes and ‘chance operations’, haha, because I feel that is part of life as well in making art. That’s why I spell my name with a j instead of an I for my work because I like the idea of having a misspelling becoming the correct spelling, even your name/title isn’t perfect. Everything is a paradox. But anyways, from there I go into the editing room and review everything and make the final adjustments and tweaks, like writing a rough draft and finalizing. Then its up to the viewer to get lost in their head, and hopefully leave with more questions than when they came in. I hope that answers the question.
Any plans for after school?
Graduate School! More School! Haha. I would like to become a professor so I can keep making work as well as being a career artist. I like the idea of having students. I envision it like Socrates and his disciples, even though I’m nowhere near as genius as that man but ha you get the picture.
What planet would you move to if you had to leave Earth?
Well, If I had to leave, I’m assuming that world is in pretty bad condition and everything and everyone is going to have to start over. For sure I wouldn’t be making art, I’d probably take over one of Jupiter’s moons, if I had the chance.
Kevin (Kevjn) Kelly is 21 years old, a senior at the Hartford Art School who also works at the Hans Weiss Newspace gallery at Manchester Community College. On his free time he enjoys listening to birds, going to gift shops, and preparing meals for the kids.