Casey McDonoughAllentown, Pennsylvania

Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident 2012

Casey McDonough holds a BS in Marine Biology and Studio Art, and an MFA in Ceramics. He is currently part of the art faculty at Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA.

Casey uses his background and education in the sciences to inform his studio practice, in order to make sense of complicated concepts such as the Human Genome Project and complex molecular chemistry. His recent interests include internet networking sites such as Myspace and Facebook and the possibilities that these networks provide for visual and cultural information.

I am a maker of things, and a rabid maker at that. My studio and my practice are perpetually in a state of flux, never tidy and never quite in any one absolute state of existence. I am interested in using my studio process to describe various systems of relationships. My background in the sciences led me to start with systems of chemical and biological interactions, which I have spent much of my time as an artist investigating. I began to recognize a pattern in these systems, wherein one might mirror or inform the next. This translation of information led me outside of the realm of scientific fact to look at social interactions and the potential for mapping systems that describe a cosmology.

The effect of my current work is to visually represent a map of one small system of people, including simple renderings of who the people are and demonstrations of shared connections moving from the superficial to the profound. I have found that so many concepts of connection, repetition, relationship, and construct present in science provided a clever metaphor for a cosmological understanding of the way people interact and the connections that we share with one another.

Instead of conclusions I am currently left with questions, such as:

Why is considering my “organism of existence” important to an audience? Why is this an important conceptual basis for an art practice? i.e. does making work about interconnectivity give an audience (or myself) a better understanding of the concept? Is there a real or apparent connection between my entry point in my work and my current state of affairs?

In the end, I am satisfied with questioning myself and my practice so thoroughly, as my ultimate intention is to provide a means for candid discussion amongst viewers of my work.