9 bottles of hand lotion serve as spouts for shooting jets of water within individual chairs. 12 tissue boxes quiver and shudder orgasmically, while another 6 empty tissue boxes with fleshy slits sit motionless below.
I see fountains as a way for nudity and sexuality to be out in the open without much controversy. The classical figurative fountain has become a cannon or container that allows sexuality and nudity to exist out in the open with minimal controversy. Figurative public sculpture has a certain invisibility to it, even though it can be incredibly erotic if isolated or put into a different context.
I see the office chair as embodying similar characteristics. When isolated I see the chair at face value, however when I see a home office chair, in close proximity to a bottle of hand lotion and a box of tissues, its other function is suddenly revealed. I realized this upon engaging in a lot of amateur webcam sex, taking notice how nearly all of the performer/participants were seated on a home office chair.
Technology has blurred the lines between home and work, business and pleasure. I am interested in how sex is enabled with much less risk or even effort, and how it can start to become “work” through that same accessibility combined with addiction.
Reach out and touch no one (Solo Tapioca)
The first study for the final sculpture.
Reach Out and Touch No One (Lonely Weiner)
Exhibited first in Houston TX in a group show titled "The Church of Man Love" box13artspace.com/church-of-man-love-mark-ponder/ An ordinary office chair with a few custom enhancements. Lions paws adorn the ordinary metal brackets, a custom embossed white velvet and fur trim gives the seat an antiseptic yet comfortable feeling. A novelty hot dog cooker is perched on the seat and slowly cooks a single wiener until it is dried out to almost nothing. At which point it is replaced with a fresh one.
The discomforting triangulation of boredom, urgency, and alienation.
This title was a quote from Colby Keller in regards to my sculpture Reach Out and Touch No One. I felt the description was appropriate for this body of work.
Intended to be viewed on a loop.
Semi-Porcelain slip cast teapots. Made from casts of peanuts, jelly molds, and ice cream cones. Pours like an old man with prostate problems.
Just the Tip
Double Your Pleasure
Keep on Truckin'
This sculpture was built from a 3D scan of my body in a “selfie” pose. The advantage of a selfie is that we’re cropped to present ourselves in an “ideal” pose. However the full pose itself, seen out of context and without cropping can seem quite ridiculous. When it is translated to sculpture, it has the opposite appearance of being quite elegant and almost heroic.
I envision a mini golf course that encourages a heightened physical intimacy with the course and in between the players themselves. On this course, the role of Mini Golf as a traditional first-date activity and ice breaker for new couples is exaggerated to the point in which the course itself becomes part of the sexual game. The physical intimacy between players and course will increase, until bodies and golf course are one playable landscape, played on and with the body. In this way, Fore-Play allows the novelty of mini golf to become a gentle and humorous means of discussing sensitive issues of intimacy and sex.
A sculptural intervention of giant golf tees made at Gifford's Mini Golf in Skowhegan Maine, on a hole which was appropriately titled 'Crotch Shot'
In as Few Strokes as Possible
Giant golf tees were dressed in attire suitable for the course, and strewn about the lawn. These tees became both obstacle and players. Shown at Unit B Gallery in San Antonio Texas as a part of the exhibition "Re-Enchanting The Moment" Curated by Mark Ponder.
Inside the Octagon (no butts about it), 2011
Highlights from Inside the Octagon
Inside The Octagon A combination or performance, and multi-media installation for Fresh Baked Goods in Pittsburgh PA. Semi-professional wrestlers and referees were hired to compete in submission grappling matches for an art audience. The rules set was a combination of regulation standards mixed with a few of my own personal requests. When there were no performances scheduled, a sculpture of two wrestlers was placed on the custom built mattress, and video footage of the match played on a monitor on an adjacent judges table.
Documentation of a sculpture as seen in the Ellis Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University. The figures are in the middle of a wrestling technique known as a "full mount"
Later made as a series of sceen prints
Here is a series of Wall Nuts I made for The Wild which was a group exhibition put together by Oscar Peters and held at the W139 in Amsterdam. The highlight of the exhibition was the installation Oscar made. He invited artists to submit 'cart' designs for a roller coaster he built inside the space. This was the perfect opportunity for me to see one of my nuts in flight, as i've imagined the peanut being a superhero or mascot.
100 pounds of glitter would flow through this handmade fountain. Glitter was pumped up to the top, then cascaded down gently back into the bowl.
Original sketch for the fountain. Digital drawing
Holy Shit House
This is a fully functioning outhouse. The seat is made from a pulpit chair that used to belong to my grandfather, who was for his whole career, a United Church minister. The Holy Shit House resides in North-Western Ontario, and is still in use on a regular basis.
Kitty Kiddie Meow Meow
Kitty Kiddie Meow Meow; The Most Catasmagorical Playplace in the History of Everything
This work arose out of the “Tough Art” residency program at the Children’s museum of Pittsburgh. Kitty Kiddie Meow Meow is an exploratory environment based on the sense of touch through textural sculptures and props. We saw the opportunity to have children be active participants in the artwork, and to engage them on the level of performer rather than participant. We provided the children with both a play-space and a stage set with props. With an overwhelming interest in online cat memes, such as ‘LOL Cats’, this project intends to physically re-engage viewers with the tactile (offline) experiences that generate a love for cats, on an exaggerated and extravagant scale.
The backdrop of our stage is comprised of a digitally printed wallpaper that exaggerates the scale of a typical living room to reflect a kitten’s viewpoint, similar to cartoons such as Muppet Babies and Roger Rabbit. Children could access the installation via a kitty-sized door so that they entered the stage from the perspective of a kitten.
The oversized props included a polka-dotted catnip mouse that featured a spring loaded jingle bell tail, and three colorful balls of yarn that could be rolled around and used for climbing. Our goal for the props was to activate the inner kitten in everyone.
Kitty Kiddie Meow Meow
Kitty Kiddie Meow Meow - Kitty Week Coverage
The Insatiable Man
The Insatiable Man; A full size fiberglass sculpture where most sensory organs were replaced with anuses. His butt evolved into a single buttcheek for maximum penetration.
See the future, not as a distant apocalyptic dystopia, but as a playful shimmering reality that you can shape. This sculptural installation combines kinetic sculpture, video, and sound, by chronicling visions of the future through media from the past. The primary focus of this project involved the construction of a rotating mirrored crystal structure that is 6’ tall by 5’ in diameter. The crystal serves as a mash up between the crystal ball and a disco ball, by forecasting visions of the future in a setting that is referential to a dance floor. Four video projections reflect off of the crystal, enveloping the gallery in an optical swarm of video fragments that have the ability to cast viewers into a perceptual juxtaposition of meditation and nausea.
A major goal of the project is to blur the roles between the artwork and viewer; performer and participant. A mirrorball designates a space and distinguishes a dive bar from a ballroom. The objective is for our crystal ball to transform a space, and disrupt the passive relationship viewers often have with artwork.
The crystal reflects video as well as the image of the participants, creating a new environment where both the viewer and video become equal contributors to the artwork. Viewers are hypnotically drawn to the crystal, as if approaching a campfire, and tend to congregate around the object, constantly looking inward. However, there is a threshold, a point in which the viewer’s body is compelled to retract, as if the object’s element of danger is repelling them backward. Also linked to this work is a sense of loneliness that conjures a distant memory of being alone on the dancefloor in the awkward time frame when the music and lights are pounding but no one has yet arrived to the club.
While on exhibit in Columbus Ohio, we staged a performance around our work with the 4 ponycorns of the apocalypse. This was all mostly thanks to the talents and bravery of the ponycorns: Stephanie Ross, Harrison Apple, Dani Lamorte, and Scott Andrew.
A Mid-Sized Putters Day Dream
A Mid-Sized Putters Day Dream, Royal Academy of Art, London, 2015
This interactive art installation makes permissible all the things we’d love to do on a golf course. Drive your own remote control mini-golf cart down the narrowest putting green. Encounter a sand trap suitable for sunbathing, a water hazard fit for cooling splash, and one hole devoted completely to a picnic lunch. Putt your way through the course, or just park yourself down and enjoy the RA’s West Yard corridor, a hidden hole-way that connects two historical streets in the heart of Central London.
Players entered the installation though an oversized and sideways golf hole.
A tiny fleet of remote control mini golf carts was deployed for players to drive their way down the course.
Encountering the Unseen
I had the pleasure of providing the visuals for a team of microbiologists at the University of Pittsburgh as a part of Tucker Marder and Isla Hansen’s project: Encountering The Unseen which took place at the Botany Lecture Hall in Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh PA.
I provided puppet and costume visuals for research on how endocrine disruptors, are mimicking estrogen and causing fish in our ecosystem to be feminized. This gave me an excuse to use tampons, maxi pads, and scissor my tail fins with another feminzed fish, all in the name of science (and art).
This video was recorded at a lower frame rate to which i timed my performance.
I am inspired by the moments where dropped frames, crappy webcams or minimal bandwidth obscure a masturbatory moment on cam4 or xtube. Those moments where a crotch becomes a pixelated blur, or a motionless cock fisted hand. What interests me is how we might start to adapt to the technology. How much of our online sexual performance is tailored to what the technology allows us to capture? What we make visible on cam is sometimes just as erotic as what we leave out. I love how in these situations the audio continues; letting us know that there is more going on that what we can currently see. It operates almost like the white space in between comic book image boxes… its what we imagine in between the frames, that allows us to imagine more than what we see, making the whole experience potentially even more arousing than a person to person encounter.
So Long Solo Sexual (sentimental)
This video consists of a growing and ongoing collection (300+) static images of empty office chairs captured from sexy webcam sites. It was shown as a part of Fon' Seks curated by Michael J Murphy and David Kube at the Visual Arts Gallery at the University of Illinois Springfield.
Intimate acts among gay men have long been tied to specific locations. Before there was a more connected online community, private sexual encounters were held mostly anonymously in public spaces, bathrooms etc. The arrival of the home webcam domesticated the location for sexual encounters and started to blur the lines between public and private sexual space. Now with the accessibility and convenience of mobile phones, our location options have expanded and it is no longer one space vs. another.
"So Long Solo-Sexual" shows a seemingly endless string of abandoned home office chairs, cropped clearly to showcase "the goods". These images bring into question whether a masturbatory routine is yet to begin, or if there was an exodus from the home office just before engaging in a real life hook-up. Bodies appear to be present because of the ergonomic design of the chairs, yet still the body is absent.