emily ann pothast

Artist Statement

Although I am a multimedia artist currently working in music, performance, video and drawing, my formal training is in printmaking, the tradition of generating multiple impressions of an image on paper using processes like woodcut, etching and lithography. Printmaking is the world's oldest form of mass media, and I tend to see contemporary developments such as Internet culture through the lens of a printmaker. The democratization of images, theories of art in the age of mechanical reproduction, and the politics of information are all concerns which have roots in Gutenberg's studio, which in turn has roots in monastic manuscript culture.

Although my practice has expanded into time-based works, my visual and musical practices remain closely linked, and my heroes have always been visionary artists. I am particularly enamored of the work of certain European painter-printmakers of a mystical persuasion such as William Blake and Albrecht Dürer, whose works reveal attempts to capture philosophical and perceptual ideas like "transcendence" and "eternity" in two dimensions. As my work has developed, I have become increasingly influenced by the history of feminist artmaking and its relationship to the Western canon, as well as criticisms of the imperialist, largely capitalistic functions of art markets that have served to obscure the more ancient social and spiritual purposes of art.

My works on paper are informed by the same interest in spirituality, metaphysics and the mediating function of consciousness on subjective experience that fuels my musical and performative work. Materially, the drawings tend to incorporate collage elements and drawing materials of disparate textures and luminance into dense, mosaic-like surfaces that show the influence of intuitive and sacred geometry, feedback loops, visionary and folk art and medieval manuscript paintings.