James McGee

Student Artist-in-Residence 1997-98
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Artist Statement


Symbol Introspective
                        Symbol Introspective
Wooden Chair


Technology and art share a unique relationship. Both challenge the limits of the other. Technology expands and sets bounds for creation; creative work encompasses technology and explores its edges. The chair as an object exists both as a form of technology and art. From gilded thrones to ergonomic chairs a vast range exists. Some chairs exist wholly as pieces of art, others as technological achievements, while many combine these aspects of functionality and aesthetics. Whether born of technology or art, a chair can be seen as existing in one of three states. (1) A chair can be functional and serve the purpose of supporting the body. (2) It can serve function while conveying meanings. A throne, director's chair, and the electric chair are imbued with very different meanings. (3) With such an emphasis on meaning the chair can cease to exist as an object and becomes solely symbolic in nature. We have chairpersons, chairwomen, and chairmen. My work explores this unique circumstance and examines the symbolic nature of the chair. Technology serves as my instrument of exploration. These chairs represent different personal aspects and concepts unified by their symbolic substance.