Matthew McCaslin's sculpture examines the juxtaposition of nature and technology. In this exhibition, an organic matrix of electrical conduit, receptacles and television screens create a metaphorical landscape throughout the gallery, reflecting our contemporary condition of simultaneous connection and isolation.
"Adrift" is composed of five complementary works with wandering electrical cables linking each piece to the next. In the front Gallery, "Raft" consists of a floating mattress and a pile of tethered televisions all with images of ominous and constantly shifting seas. It is an inverse reflection on Gericault's "Raft of Medusa" and makes the viewer conscious of the overpowering forces of nature. Nearby a diagrammatic composition of conduit and clustered receptacles hold up a flat screen with a large image of the moon at night. At first appearing forever bright and present, it slowly fades into the darkness.
In the main gallery, clambering flexible cords ascend to the ceiling where a monitor broadcasts footage of an astronaut losing himself to deep space. In the back distance a single TV shows a tissue covered apple tree blowing in the winter wind, suggesting the sail of a ship on the horizon. The most expansive work in the exhibition is a 25-ft. long wall sculpture made of rigid conduit and electrical outlets--a Mondrian-like "Broadway Boogie Woogie" grid of a logically ordered world. This entangled support system gives power to five flat screen televisions, creating an abstract skyline of New York vignettes. Audio tracks from each piece combine to form a fusion of sounds ranging from crashing waves and howling wind to late night talk radio and a melancholic piano composition of Eric Satie.
Although highly formal, McCaslin's work gives the illusion of spontaneity and disorder, often creating a tension of flux and suspense. By emphasizing the function and aesthetics of electronic equipment, McCaslin's artwork amplifies the impact of our digital age. Working with both physical and psychological space, his works operate in the expanded context of the natural, architectural and social environments, and our increasingly complex lives.
Matthew McCaslin has exhibited extensively in galleries and museums throughout the world. In 1998 and 1999 a large solo exhibition, "Works - Sites", traveled to museums in Switzerland, Germany and California. In January 2004, Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, New York will feature a new light-based installation by McCaslin in its "Winter Light" series.