Originally trained as a mechanical engineer, I worked for a number of years in Silicon Valley designing and building factory automation. While I enjoyed many aspects of this career, I rapidly became frustrated with its necessary emphasis on production. Equipment design has one goal: make widgets as fast as you can. I wanted to explore the artistic potential of factory automation itself. For me, the machinery was more interesting. What the machinery created was inconsequential.
What did the Fellowship or Laureate mean to you at the time you received it?
It was a huge affirmation.
What do you do now? Has your art evolved or changed?
I?m still furiously making art. Each new sculpture is rooted in preceding work, so evolution is an inescapable aspect of my work. Of course, that?s true for all artists, right? I recently had work touring Europe (France, Germany, and Switzerland); also a solo show at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco in January 2015. Go here to see images and videos of my work: http://www.chriseckert.com/pages/work-current.html
What is one piece of advice you would give to an emerging artist?
Follow your own direction. Everyone else will come around eventually.
Briefly, how would you describe the state of the arts locally, as well as national and beyond?
Financial taxing but personally fulfilling
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