Craig Kalpakjian

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Craig Kalpakjian, Monitor II (1999)

Craig Kalpakjian, Stair (2000)

Craig Kalpakjian, Unlearning Object Permanence (2009)

Craig Kalpakjian, Dear Tech Support Operator (2004)

In my earlier sculpture and installation work, I used found and fabricated elements–barriers, detectors, and security devices. I was interested in the technology of deterrence and passage, movement and restraint as well as crowd control and traffic flow. This is what I was thinking about with the work involving bullet-proof barriers and waiting line stanchions.

One of the things I wanted to do with these sculptures and installations was to call into question notions of safety, security, protection and vulnerability, and to confuse the sense of inside and outside. While I always liked producing slick and seductive objects, in some sense I was more interested on their effects, both physically and psychologically, on the space around them. This charged mental space is already, in a sense, virtual, so working with 3-D software (at first just to arrange and visualize installations) seemed a great way to explore these ideas.

Narrative and cinematic movement were always important to me, and the first 3-D works I did were in fact animation loops that were output to video. Nevertheless I quickly became fascinated and obsessed by the great detail possible in still images. The sense of imminence and the implication of the covert, of a beyond just out of reach, is of central importance to me. This is what leads me to say that the spaces I depict are in a way haunted. I do love the almost cheap or tongue-in-cheek sense of mystery involved, but the emptiness of the images speaks to a sense of absence and loss that works on many different levels, and I think loss is very important to technology in general.

Although they are often seen ...

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