2012I work with a family of behaviors. Think of it as a sort of collaborative nervous system. The behaviors occupy activities that use several artistic mediums as both their muse and means for becoming.
07/2010On The Basics
I make work with other people. The work has the potential to produce alternative economies of exchange, while playfully questioning the nature of collaboration. Because each individual work is subjected to the aesthetic sensibilities and histories of each collaborator, it can hold the appearance of varying fields of creative production, as well as make reference to the modern history of art. The tensions that exist between the collaborative objects, their accompanying histories, our hierarchies of taste and trending art discourses all play important roles in the performance of this body.
My production's "medium" of family and friends positions the relational/social values inherent in everyday life against the canonizing dialectic of art's professional discourse. All the materials used to produce these conductive objects are chosen for how well they relate to their ritualistic meaning, or how they are commonly used. At times, a process will be adopted from craft kits or other commercial creative behaviors. This way of working with material creates temporary pockets within a larger idea of culture, where together we create ambiguous categories with emancipatory potential.
The Color Green
I try to use it as often as possible. Other than referring to everything natural in the world, using the color green allows me to simulate infinite potential. Practically speaking, digital representations of the work can be fed through editing software and augmented based on the desires of the future [i.e. think green screen]. Thus, our material ends can be seen as a performative process of endless shifting and renewal.
2008-9The collaborative forms of production and consumption of art that I use access viewer's perspectives while initiating a public dialogue. In this way my collaborative works stretch between intimacy and anonymity. They offer means for interpersonal relationships to be experienced by a viewer while allowing the viewer an active role in further developing the artworks. Thus the art maker and viewers are intertwined in the development of creative memories. Through collaboration, I help produce works which speak to the viewer's sense of the limitations of giving and buying, and intimate and public relationships, with the goal of making the public reception of art more creative.
By using methods common in film and theater production, my latest collaborative works manifest mini-narratives. These stories prompt, produce, and represent the ability of those involved to make memories that are both personal and collective. Because we all have a particular aesthetic knowledge and sensibility, the works shift in content and method respective to the collaborators and viewers.
A dialogue that considers the impact of relational production and collaboration is a prescient development towards any collective understanding of what it is to share and exchange. Because art is fundamentally about human exchange, I pursue these topics of interpersonal relationships and memory in order to incite new dialogue and the appreciation of art in new spheres.
2007-8Staring now, each word in this statement supplies an additional value to the word coming before it and to the string of presence + meaning tying it all together. This is our language and the place it makes for you and me... inside it.
"Obviously," you may say.
Well, the work, in both object and text form, is our sentence.
So please, use this statement (collection of sentences) as an ingress and egress for the place in which I produce reality; my operatic ideology.
2005-7In an attempt to negotiate the limitations of art making's solitude and transgress the romantic notion of the individual artistic genius, all of these works have been developed through different relationships and different modes of collaboration.
Each work is a mini-narrative, which prompts, produces, and represents its corresponding relationships. Because we all have a particular aesthetic knowledge and sensibility, the works shift in content and method. This process recalls a way the art world functions: by helping each object and experience to reveal itself through propping each other and acting together.
Remaining faithful to this art process, Marcus Michelsen, one of my collaborators, has provided the following addition to this statement:
"The unique theme that I have observed to run consistently throughout all of Tobey's artwork is accessibility: how to make the artwork more accessible to whoever wants to enjoy it? Tobey confronts the notion of a privileged gaze that pierces to the heart of the artwork with the generosity of art that can be enjoyed by all in many ways. He challenges the ideas of a 'true' art that threatens us with philistinism if we don't laud it with praise, and of 'false' art that can dupe us into submission if we don't stay on our toes. Instead of laying claim to 'art' in some essential way and provoking the spectator with the idea of a single perspective, a single gaze and a single feeling, that would reveal the essence of the work, Tobey multiplies the valid perspectives upon the work. He makes the artwork accessible: acknowledging and embracing the multiplicity of ways that people can see and experience the work; challenging the idea that there is only one right way to enjoy it; undermining the notion that there is only one experience of value to be had from it. I have truly enjoyed working with Tobey in the past, and hope to continue to do so in the future."
To all the individuals involved (both presently and historically) I offer my collaborative works in gratitude, as homage.