In it’s last week on view at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids is a solo exhibition of work by Chad Curtis entitled: DIGITAL IN NATURE. The work included in the exhibition investigates the relationship of organic, living beings to the complex, nuanced environment and digital landscape. Each piece utilizes, to some degree, a crude, home brewed fabrication-and-drawing machine that relies on digital design tools, and computer numeric control.
Curtis often deals with simulation and refinement, utilizing highly processed materials removed from the context of their origin, to create a synthetic experience. While the sculpture aims to potentially simulate an environment, the drawings serve as illustrations, of a lost world that happens to look a lot like the world we live in.
In a broader context, the work explores the line between the biological and mechanical, using popular, iconographic references. The idea of a distinction between the biological and the industrial, or the human and the digital, and the blurring of that distinction, is explored both as subject matter in the work and also in the production.
Chad Curtis currently serves as an Assistant Professor at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. Trained in Ceramics and Printmaking, Curtis earned his BFA from Minnesota State University and his MFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.