Harrison Tyler is talented, newly graduated artist who investigates the inner reaches of his creative potential through a variety of means and productions. Tyler specializes in interactive installations and has a great talent in portraying refractive avenues of actual and imagined history. LAND is excited to follow his breadcrumb path through the forest of his career.
You say you prefer the mystery of your work in lieu of direct descriptions. Why is that?
I write what I can- when I have words to say, I will say them; but leaving a presence of mystery for me and for viewers allows the work to stay alive. It is not restrained by a definition, only using words to suggest a meaning. There is some mystery in the understanding of everything- a mystery in understanding the purpose of things. My work is not about this mystery, but it is what drives me to make. The process of making is what I enjoy and is where I learn most about my intentions, it is only in retrospect of the finished piece where I really begin to understand the work, and where I can hope to identify the question that led me to create it.
Do you ascribe to any set structure when creating your installations?
My constructions are usually based off of existing structures as a way to reference or suggest a certain history. I usually begin with a set plan of what I want to happen, with the willingness to let the project change its self and make its own decisions. In “Artifact”, where I built, printed, and destroyed a 7ft tall printing press, the structure was purely the functional result of carrying out certain actions. My real interest was in the transformation of the structure, and the documentation of the history and activity associated with it. In more recent work, my installations are becoming less referential but I still base many of the forms off of practical and existing structural elements.
Your set of ‘visiting scenes’ is particularly interesting. What’s going on there?
I suppose this piece was an attempt at subtle humor, Inserting myself into various scenes of historical artworks. The idea of Iconic images and objects holding such a power of authority and permanence does not allow for a further discovery. In rejection to such rigid ideas, through a low tech play, I visited these places using photobooth. I replaced preset, faux backgrounds with these monumental, “sacred” pieces. Treating each image equally and so informally, I have suggested a more active participation with the works. The fragmented forms suggest a complete integration between myself and the artwork, creating equal opportunity for either plane (myself or the work) to reify and dominate.
How do you feel about collaborations between artists, have you done any work with others?
I feel the need to be in an environment where I am surrounded by other artists. I gain most from working around other artists and learning from their explorations while discussing my own. Usually I feel that I cannot create the type of work that I want to in collaboration with others, I like to spend a lot of time moving things around and thinking on my own time. Despite this, when I have collaborated with other artists they have brought ideas that I could build from in my own work as well as in the collaboration. For me, collaborations are tools to learn from and share experiences- regardless of the resulting piece.
You’re quite young yet have a pretty nice portfolio already. Where do you see you yourself / your work in 20 years?
I am young and fairly inexperienced in the larger scheme of the things, because of this I am so interested and curious as to where my work will take me as I grow. Maybe this is again the mystery that I am exploring. I cannot begin to say where I will be or how my work will evolve, both have changed and evolved substantially in only the past few years in ways that I couldn’t possibly have predicted. All I can do is continue to make and continue to explore my ideas; I have a reason for being here and my work has a reason for existing, In twenty years, I might just be closer to understanding either of the two.