Justin Watson (b. 1984) received his MFA from the University of Utah in Sculpture Intermedia (2016). Watson uses multimedia installations and digital processing as a platform for iconoclasm, appropriation, and systems design to investigate power and identity as transmitted through new media technologies. Watson has shown extensively throughout Utah, including exhibitions at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA), The Wrong Bienniale (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Central Utah Art Center (CUAC), Bountiful Davis Art Center (BDAC), Finch Lane Gallery, and NOX Contemporary.
My work emerges through physical and digital installation practices exploring post-internet identity, technological advancement, geopolitical presence and the sinister subtexts to humankind’s search for utopic transcendence. I assimilate images, 3D models, field recordings, online archives and rendered animations into multi channel installations that hybridize nonlinear writing, photography, film, and sculpture.
My method is precision-oriented: each frame, sound, word and image are considered for material, context and representation. I layer processes and tools to establish an archive of symbols to enhance the accessibility of each piece. Every installation is an optical, mental and emotional negotiation with the viewer, so it is important to communicate to a broad spectrum while maintaining conceptual consistency.
Multimedia carries an infinite potential for recycling, renewing and revising this content. I spend days drifting through digital mausoleums looking for forgotten words or ideas that have calcified and could use a daft resurrection. I view this process as crafting puzzle pieces embodying new paradoxical visions.
History is cyclical. Antiquated ideas are forged in the hearths of the malcontent; compassion becomes an epitaph carved into the every-growing machine of progress all the while our very existence is imperiled by the systems of our design. A spark of empathy or a jolt of a thought within a viewer refocuses their mind onto the interlocking systems around them and can contribute to larger incremental changes in our perception and comprehension.