the intelligence of things

Michael Watson

Michael Watson, Family Trees, 2012, (performance) still image of video documentation of performance in Prospect Park, n/a

Through assemblage, sculpture and immersive installation, I am invested in manipulating objects and spaces through paint and paint-like mediums such as rice/wheat paste and dirt. I employ an exhaustive process of bringing materials to various states of matter through aggressive tactics such as blending, burning and dissipation. My performances take place on various public sites involving lengthy repeated gestures and narratives with local materials and some objects I bring.
My work is informed by the symbolic death of the self and severing with the other. I am interested in the uncanny moment of encounter with the other as a metaphor for the lack of recognition of one’s self. The other comprises anything outside of the self, including people, the physical world, and the metaphysical. Through my work, I explore the impossibility of reaching a feeling of subjective wholeness by representing subjects in a state of flux and hybridity through articulations of intertwining space, amorphous form and intangible mediums such as light.

Michael Watson, Burnt Vision, 2013, steel, burnt rice, rear projection screen, fluorescent light and vase, 46” x 46” x 10”

Michael Watson, Hollow Head, 2012, (installation view) wood, fabric, aluminum sheets, synthetic hair, spray paint and latex wall paint, 7’ x 14’ x 7’

Michael Watson, Hollow Head, 2012, (installation interior view, detail)) stretched white fabric, light, 5.75” x 4” x 4”

Michael Watson, Inversion Dispersion, 2013, tweed jacket, rice-wheat paint and tempura paint, size 20

Michael Watson, The late supper, 2013, light, steel, wood, aluminum sheets, Plexiglas, burnt rice and fluorescent lighting fixtures, 28” x 96” x 14”

Michael Watson, The late supper, 2013, (detail) wood, aluminum sheets and burnt rice, 28” x 96” x 14”

Michael Watson, The office, 2012, (installation mid view) furniture, vinyl flooring and mixed media, 8’ x 10’ x 10’

Michael Watson, Red wall, 2012, (wall installation, 1 of 3 fabric wall panels) red spandex/cotton fabric, 96’ x 192’ x 2”

Michael Watson, Infinite Expansion, 2011, (immersive installation, detail) paper/fabric soft sculpture, plastic soft sculptures, charcoal wall drawings and mixed media, 8’ x 14’ x 12’

Michael Watson was born and raised in Knoxville, TN. He received a BFA (Painting) from the Art Academy of Cincinnati. He is currently a 2013 MFA Candidate at Parsons The New School of Design. He collaborated with artist Jade Yumang at the 2012 Governor’s Island Art Fair, NY and is part of a performance collaborative called Tatlo with artists Sara Jimenez and Jade Yumang. Their recent project was a 24-hour performance titled, Keeping it in the Family at Glasshouse (Williamsburg, Brooklyn). His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in Beijing, China; Cincinnati, OH; Washington, DC; and New York City. His upcoming projects are Ideas City Festival, New Museum, 2013 through Art in Odd Places with Tatlo; group video installation at the Mandrake in Los Angeles in July 2013; and Touching the Void a group exhibition he co-curated with Caitlin Turski through the Sumei Multidisciplinary Art Center in August 2013. After completing his MFA, Watson plans to remain New York City as a working artist and educator.