" A great joy, perhaps the deepest joy of life is getting to experience the sensory universe - we evolved wholly inside of it and we are made to be in it. When daily thought patterns are broken by stillness or a jarring of perception, the sensory universe has the opportunity to take the forefront in consciousness. Thinking and working with materials or processes can be a conduit into such a communion. The greatest completion of the task of art making, happens in another communion- a flash of awe, a glimpse of a complex and endless perfection that reboots reality in the experience of the viewer.
Objects that have the potential to elicit such a response deliver concept and form in one bite. Neither an abstract idea nor an untouched piece of natural rubbish could contain this power. Only where the translations of the human mind machine meet the stern but complex realities of the world can such an experience be generated for artist and viewer.
The universe is always source and teacher. We need only look around to see the truth. Works of art are like science experiments seeking intuition and visceral knowledge. How readily one can imagine the internal structure of wood grain, or catch a fly ball, are examples of how evolution has given us an emotional knowledge of the universe. Following this knowledge can lead to a deep sense of belonging.
As viewer, connection to the universe is often strongly sensed in a condition of what Smithson called dislocation. An eerie familiarity can be felt in a completely novel experience.
The laws of nature are all encompassing and an ultimate standard for our emotional state of mind. By definition, the mind machine must translate the sensory universe as completely as possible. Many untrue structures may come and go in the mind. Some may persist for a lifetime. When tested however, the mind always must conform to reality, or perish. The universe offers the most important nutrient to emotional life-Truth. Like a stern parent, the world around us demonstrates that only truth, not love, can provide stability and contentment. We were born from the universe, we eat the universe, and support can be found beneath our feet, always. Any opportunity to do or see an artwork (which is also an experiment (which is also a prayer)) is an opportunity to feel the nourishment from the universe that evolution has made perfect advantage of in the body."
James Roberts was born in Denver, Colorado in 1989. After earning a BFA in Sculpture from Colorado State University in Fort Collins in 2011, he now lives and works in Denver.