This weekend the Joshua Tree Music Festival is going down. And if you are down to go, make sure to not miss our good friend and man of inspiration…. Cristopher Cichocki. Cichocki will be showcasing a large scale art installation for the festival, and it is one you will not want to miss. Or… won’t be able to miss. If you know Cichocki’s work, you know exactly what I mean. Check out this interview with Cristopher and Environmental Grafffiti to get an even better idea on what to look forward to…
Cycle in Cycle (detail)
All images courtesy of Cristopher Cichocki
Where to place the work of artist Cristopher Cichocki? Living and working around California’s Salton Sea, Cichocki is an artist happy to locate himself below sea level, and to inhabit the desert while making occasional incursions into urban spaces. From noise art to serene sculptures, this is a guy who works in a range of media that would put most arists out of joint, and deals with often disorientating themes. Easy to pin down, Cichocki is not. We talked to him about entropy, ecological nightmares, eyeballs-as-planets and hyper-paced reality among other mind-bending topics.
Full Circle (Eruption), 2009
Location: Niland, CA
enamel on water and earth
EG: Your name, Cichocki, takes some pronunciation (chä-hä-skee) but somehow fits phonetically alongside the place where you live, the Coachella Valley desert in California. Tell us a bit about your background, why you chose to live where you do, and how these circumstances have affected your work.
CC: At age ten I moved from the icy cold of Wisconsin to the sweltering desert heat of the Coachella Valley. For the most part, I’ve lived in the Coachella Valley with a fling here and there in Los Angeles ever since. I’ve always been inspired by the vast landscape of the desert, especially areas off the beaten path. I’m always exploring random dirt roads leading to seemingly nowhere, seeking out new locations of abandonment and finding gems of sublime corrosion. I manipulate elements within these decayed sites and often bring back objects for future sculptures or installations. I love the idea that art can exist in the middle of the desert and be randomly discovered by someone.
Property Division (Root), 2009
Location: Sky Valley, CA
mason line and uprooted tree
EG: From urban exploration to repurposing old buildings, decay and abandonment are zeitgeist concepts today. Why do you think this is, and how do such ideas inform your work and your concern for the environments we live in?
CC: Everything is temporary, everything is shifting. My work is an environmental time-capsule of the past, present and future, amplifying ephemeral elements of nature and industry. I incorporate acidic fluorescent comprised of construction materials like: mason line, flagging tape, street marking paint, irrigation flags, and mason chalk. These materials literally construct the foundation within almost every man-made property and structure that is built. I like to leave this tension between organic and inorganic open to interpretation.
Cristopher Cichocki: Desert Abyss (2 installation views above) 2009
Walter N. Marks Center For The Arts, Palm Desert, CA
Property Division (Eight Point Nine), 2006
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Structure with mirror and flagging tape
EG: You’re interested in emphasising entropy within the environment – literal environmental graffiti as you pointed out. Can you expand a bit on this and explain your take on entropy (a complex concept from thermodynamics which has long baffled me)?
CC: I must admit that I’m also baffled by entropy. My interest in entropy is more about the distribution of energy when things decay. All matter emits energy that resonates into frequencies far beyond what we can fully perceive. That’s what I’m searching for: insights into this hyper-paced world of ever-changing activity.
– all words and interview by Ken Fabricius for Environmental Graffiti
To read the entire interview, make sure to CLICK HERE
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