artist’s statement and bio
Mixing samples from various media, I build immersive installations and sculptures embedded with speakers that sound back, motors that respond to a viewer’s presence to play the topography of the print, and electronic circuits that harness voice to drive other parts of the installation. Objects have long played the role of surrogates, fetishes, and prosthetics, but digital technologies render all input as data, incorporating it into complex systems. We distribute identity over vast networks, testing the boundaries of selfhood, individuality, and participation. Through these entangled machines and site-specific, print installations, I interrogate how the self is re-embodied through and “dissolved” into technology. We may move our bodies in space, but it is really our extended imaginary self that walks much of the world, a formation, a composite, a constantly refreshing rendering based on sensory traces and noise. We can become attention blind in the face of all the technological stimulus we experience, but human action is often small and experienced through trace; self is formed as we disperse our permeable, vulnerable bodies through scents, marks, footprints, spit, even the displacement of air. While we often seem to lose our bodies in technology, I want to highlight the way we feel out our embodiment in co-existing “new” and “old” technologies.
CJ Mace has a background in print, bookmaking, and writing. Her transition into circuitry, programming, sound, and installation feeds off a deep interest in the ways in which communicative medias, whether “slow” or “fast”, coexist and create social space. She believes deeply in the value of collective, collaborative, independent workspaces that foster the work of artists and has been active at Highpoint Center for Printmaking, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and Spudnik Press Cooperative. She has an M.F.A in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper from Columbia College, where she received several awards, including the Follett Fellowship, the Aiko Fellowship, a Print and Letterpress Graduate Assistantship, a Rosenblum, an Interdisciplinary Arts Department Project Grant, and a Weisman. Her teaching experience includes undergraduate letterpress at Columbia College and various private workshops in print media, circuitry, and writing at Spudnik. Her work has appeared at the Chicago Cultural Center, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, the Women’s Studio Workshop, and the Chicago Urban Art Society.