Craig Dongoski


Project Description

INTRODUCTION My interests, identity, and the way I define success lie within the realm of art’s potential to communicate, stimulate thought, and point to directions outside of an agreed upon reality. My work is about making images by way of experimental processes. An earlier background in printmaking and mixed media has been instrumental in directing my research into the potential of the collective and community as a mode in which to generate ideas beyond one’s own experience. This background in mixed media works has expanded to include new technologies and digital media. For the past four years, I have been involved in areas of sound and digital technology as a means to amplify my continued research in the traditional media of drawing, painting, and printmaking. I am recording through amplification the sounds produced while making a drawing or writing, and using the audio artifact as a form to stimulate thought and communication much like the visual counterpart. I am proposing to develop and exhibit a set of projects using the audio produced by mark-making. Some areas of emphasis will include writing, drawing, biofeedback, meditation/focus practices, intended at producing a prototypical course or mini-curriculum that posits a holistic approach to art-making/thinking. I see my project’s universal potential in its inclusion of working with other populations in the community such as the elderly, the dying, children, and the incarcerated.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION Drawing Voices provides an exploratory site as an approach to drawing and art making by using technology as a means to develop new models to produce art by. I begin with the attitude that drawing is a biological function of human beings, and the most rudimentary form of visual expression. The audio recording represents a shadow realm of mark-making. It reveals a previously hidden aspect to the activity of drawing. It demonstrates that an individual’s drawing voice is as unique as its visual counterpart. One of the most interesting aspects to me in the Drawing Voices project is the language that is produced when one is drawing.

I see the working process being used in collaboration by artists, poets and musicians as a way to de-familiarize and perhaps bring these two creative realms together to produce new forms. I also see it as useful for persons with disabilities. For example, now I am initiating work with people who are blind as well as people in hospices and nursing homes. Working with people experiencing other realities interests me because of the healing potential and the possibility it poses in broadening the conversation called Art.

The following is a brief description of a recent variation being conducted at my studio:

The aim of this experiment was to expose the aural drawing artifact and its potential to convey an idea from a remote or hidden location, while offering an auxiliary method to direct visual observation. The scenario involved one participant [the target] in a shrouded location transmitting aurally a descriptive drawing to another participant [the result]. Persons entering the gallery witnessed several examples of the drawings produced within this experiment along with the recordings.

IMPORTANCE OF PROJECT My project considers the pervasiveness of technology along with the basic need to draw/paint. In other words, an aim of this project is to have technology thought about and used with the same attitude that one has to a paintbrush. The project instigates approaches brought on by technologies that yield original results making both the act and the result of drawing more innovative. What does the artist’s studio look like in the 21st Century? What needs must the studio foresee and accommodate? How does drawing/painting maintain its relevance, assimilation and viability among competing media? How can the practice of art be applied to the community and other areas outside of the studio? Does the sound of drawing/inscription reveal an inherent language with communicative power? Through my exhibition and catalogue, I intend to pose the questions mentioned above while confronting those questions with viable responses.