Brian Jobe

Brian's sculptures are so simple, but show so much about nature and technology. Very cool to think about, and especially cool to look at. He has a lot more stuff on his site, so be sure to check it out.

How old are you?

Where do you live? Where did you grow up?
My wife Carri and I currently live in Knoxville, Tennessee. I grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and Houston, Texas. I have also lived in San Antonio, Texas and New York, New York.

What influences you the most in your art?
I am influenced by the knowledge that there are preexisting systems already at work in the natural world which can be tapped into and mimicked through repetition. I am influenced by artists like Richard Long (his physicality and outdoor interaction), Tom Friedman (his sheer inventiveness), and Wolfgang Laib (his sensitivity and spiritual connectedness with material).

Of all industrial materials, why zip ties?
Zip ties are beautifully industrial and carry traces of association, but not so much that they cannot be redefined en masse. They are easy to access, durable, and can be recycled. My work with prefab plastics comes out of my earlier work with thread. The zip tie is also a great object with which to create skins over and around other objects and architecture.

Most of your work involves modifications to other objects (both natural, such as wood, and industrial, like a water heater or road marker.) Why do you pick these objects?
I see these objects as establishing context and setting down a certain set of parameters within with modifications can be made. They serve as living blueprints or perhaps a cake which requires icing.

Although art and math don’t seem initially intertwined, you note fractals as one of your key influences. When did you first become interested in fractals? Why do you think you are so intrigued/inspired by them in your art?
I discovered a section on Fractal Geometry in the back of my high school geometry textbook at age 16. A light bulb realization happened for me at the understanding of macro chain reactions going on around us in the natural world. It's my intention to create and assemble my art in the same spirit of these fractal chain reactions -- like a domino effect that is both unexpected and yet inevitable.

It seems very time consuming to loop those zip ties/string all that thread, how long does it take you to set up an installation?
The installation time is completely specific to site. It changes respective to each individual place and series.

How would you explain your style?
Repetition as a gesture of the infinite.

When did you know that you wanted to be an artist?
I began drawing at age 11. My instincts in childhood play tended strongly toward the ordering and artful understanding of materials and objects.

Who is your favorite artist?
For the moment, Richard Long is a primary influence.

How would you describe yourself in five words or less?
repetitively asking for infinite instincts


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