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Impart: Artist Tim Stoelting asserts "art is a tool for generating change"

Tim Stoelting answers some important questions about art. His entry "Architectonic" is available for viewing at the UICA during ArtPrize
Stoelting's installation, "Architectonic", at the UICA.

Stoelting's installation, "Architectonic", at the UICA. /Courtesy of Tim Stoelting

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This article is part of a series called “Impart” which asks local and national artists questions about art to preface ArtPrize and begin the conversation.

Read other artists' answers: 

Thomas Hammer

Gil Lelazhe Jariq

Melanie Manos

Nate Otto

Consuelo Poland 

Mark Reigelman

Salvador Jimenez

Brandon Belote

Stoelting's "Construct" blocks that sit on the desk.

Stoelting's "Construct" blocks that sit on the desk. /Courtesy of Tim Stoelting

Stoelting's "iPhone 4" schematic that will be found on the office desk.

Stoelting's "iPhone 4" schematic that will be found on the office desk. /Courtesy of Tim Stoelting

Impart seeks to preface ArtPrize by asking artists essential questions about art. 

Tim Stoelting is an artist who plays around with people's perceptions of the spaces and objects around them. With his ArtPrize entry "Architectonic," he does this with an installation of an office space at the UICA. The office space is made up of several projects, including iPhone and IKEA schematics. 

"There is an underlying concept/theme to each of these projects which is to deconstruct the subject matter to analyze and reconstruct the idea either into something new or something different. By doing this I'm focusing attention to why and how something is made. So in the case of the iPhone schematics, they call attention to the loss of form following function and our lack of understanding of how an iPhone functions. They are included in the installation to further push the idea that this twisted space is a fully functioning, occupied office space. Perhaps the occupant of this office engineers or dissects iPhones. Or maybe they think the imagery of exploded technical drawings are beautiful," says Stoelting.

The piece is available for viewing during ArtPrize on 2 West Fulton, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays during ArtPrize. 

What is art?

"Art typically has the connotation of being an object, or something physical. In my practice, art is not so much an object but an action, an experience, a reaction or yield. A yield in any case may be an object or the experience of an object. It seems somewhat formulaic but in the broadest sense of ‘what is art?’ everything can be pared down to or translated as a formula. Identifying this formula and then twisting, exploiting, subverting and exposing it, is where the magic is. By identifying and exploiting the formula it can be turned onto itself, building a constant state of reformation. This reformation can be societal, personal, technological or even self-contained within the art itself. This iterative process continues a cycle that deconstructs what is known into something that can then be analyzed and rebuilt. Rebuilding a situation, process or material gives the artist an opportunity to produce something new and fantastic."

What is the purpose of art?

"Within my own practice, I attempt to discern the essentials of an object or situation and then re-imagine the original concept through the lens of these basic elements. My installation at UICA’s Vault space is an exploration of people's perception of space, particularly a space that might be used as an office. The installation distills our expectations of a room into their most basic form (walls, furniture, etc.) and rebuilds that room in a way that calls our perception into question. How far can we twist a form before it morphs into something entirely new? What can we learn by examining our reactions to these altered forms? These are the questions that art can push us towards."

Is art important? Why is art important?

"When we approach art with these questions in mind, the importance of the work becomes clear; to work towards smoothing hard edges or sharpening corners to improve existing systems, whether they be formal, personal, societal, etc. Art is a tool for examining, critiquing and generating change within these systems. Buckminster Fuller said 'You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.'"

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