Tim Tate Talks About His Current Works

From glass and video sculptor Tim Tate:

Three Current Pieces That Discuss The Transition From Studio Glass To Glass Secessionism

I see my sculptures as self-contained installations. My current work chronicles the transition from the Era of Studio Glass to the new movement of Glass Secessionism.

Blending a traditional craft with new media technology gives me the framework in which I fit my artistic narrative; contemporary, yet with the aesthetic of Victorian techno-fetishism.

To see this chronology, I will discuss 3 of my recent artworks.


Tim Tate “Cowboy Luvin” blown and cast glass, LED lighting.

In Cowboy Luvin’ I reinterpret a millefiori lamp that belonged to my grandmother, though up date its narrative content and technology to LED’s. This was specifically made to show Secessionist roots in early glass.

Tim Tate “Smashing Blue” cast glass, video, electronics.

In the Smashing Blue piece, I use a time-based medium (video) to show a glass vase smashing, yet then reconfiguring again and again. This is intended to show that our definitions in the 20th century ebb and flow towards what is and isn’t glass based, and how we are constantly redefining the present dialog.

Tim Tate “The Next 50 Years Begins Now”, blown and cast glass, video, electronics, engraving

In The Next 50 Years Begins Now a video shows the smashing of a Chihuly-like glass piece, and then reconfiguring over and over. Inside the smaller dome are shards from the original piece. On top of that is a small man holding a large video screen, playing that video. The cast glass finial on top is a bust of Dale Chihuly. The surface of the outer dome has been etched with the history of Dale Chihuly, his importance to the Studio Glass and the artworld, and the text ends with his suing his former assistant for knocking him off.

This piece asks many questions:

Is this real?
   
> A fake?
The culmination of 30 years of work?
   
> Or just glass and 3 hours time?
The beginning of glass secessionism?
   
> Is glass secessionism the right term?
Does this mark the end of technique driven dominance?
   
> Or the beginning of ironic work?

Does breaking this piece add value to it? 
   
> Or does it destroy it?

If this was a cheap knock off, who would be wielding that hammer?
 

Does questioning authority equal disrespect?

Could this be an act of construction, not destruction…just as I intended it to be?


To me, these works are phylacteries of sorts, the transparent reliquaries in which bits of saints’ bones or hair — relics — are displayed. In many cultures and religions, relics are believed to have healing powers. My relics are temporal, sounds and moving images formally enshrined, encapsulating experiences like cultural specimens. And perhaps, to the contemporary soul, they are no less reliquaries than those containing the bones of a saint.
 
With technology rapidly changing the way we perceive art, the current day contemporary landscape closely mirrors Victorian times in the arts. We marvel at and invent bridges between past and present in an effort to define our time and make sense of this highly transitory moment in artistic history. 

Tim Tate

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