© Hunter L. V. Elliott 2016
Hunter L. V. Elliott is an internationally exhibited artist currently living in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He received an interdisciplinary BFA in Sculpture and Printmaking from Kent State University in 2014 and has exhibited work throughout the United States as well as in South Korea. Elliott’s practice explores information, language, systems, process, perception and technology.
Systems that function under a guise of objectivity rarely possess it. The complicating of sensory data with cultural, social, political, and technological interference is an inherent obstacle within the recording of history, or in the deceivingly simple act of perceiving everyday life. Experience is nebulous. It is four-dimensional. There will always be an unseen perspective. In this way, language and text are at odds with experience. How a person views the world and behaves within it is completely dependent on their experiences, however trying to describe an experience in language we are familiar with is only possible to an extent. Incompatibility and dissonance between the translation of experience and the recording of experience is the root issue that not only informs my practice, but on a more global scale, contributes to the personal, social, and political conflicts shared by humanity.
I investigate what happens when a perceived experience or idea turns out to have been intentionally or incidentally impacted; either through technological interference, social structures, misinformation, or simple miscommunication. In order to unpack this phenomenon it is necessary to dissect the systems of understanding that we use to contextualize our lives. Language, text, and units of measure are examples of systems that can be used and manipulated to change information, and when confronting doubt in their application, the system itself should be questioned. In questioning an established system, implications should be considered. For example, if a meter stick suddenly was no longer the length of a meter as it is currently understood, what effect would that have on the world, or at least the specific application it is being applied to?
When speaking about language in Art specifically, the artist statement and academic art language, referred to as artspeak, are two things that are unavoidable to discuss. Artspeak is often thought of as the needless pseudo-intellectual language used to sell art. My work relates precisely to the relationship between purveyor of artspeak, the art theorist, and art viewer by shifting my position between them. By varying the level of transparency and complexity of each piece that I create, I encourage the viewer to question my motives in a specific way. The one characteristic of my work that does not change is its sincerity. Aesthetic decisions are not made arbitrarily; rather they are made to suit a material concern, or to satisfy a conceptual issue. My work wavers between the simple and pragmatic and the opaque and demanding.