MEMBER MONDAY: JAMES AKERS

Hot Topics at Glass Art Society > MEMBER MONDAY: JAMES AKERS

MEMBER MONDAY: JAMES AKERS

posted on 9:37 AM, June 26, 2017
Exhibitable%2bObject%2bG%2bCookie%2bDough%2bSugar%2bRush.jpg
 
Tell us about yourself! (Background, name, location, work, how you began working with glass, etc.)

I am an Adjunct faculty member at the Chrysler Museum of Art Glass Studio and a neon bender at Riehl Deal Neon in Norfolk, Virginia. I began working with Glass at Alfred University with Fred Tschida. I quickly fell from a love of ceramics into an addiction to glass, video, neon, and later to electricity.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?

The amazing community around glass is my biggest push to continue using this magic, optical, gooey, pristine, and crazy material. I am an electrical hacker and neon nerd enthralled with electricity and its artistic potential. Neon allows me to create glass wires that glow bright colors and I tend to embrace the complex and chaotic nature of its display with an explosive "more is more" approach.

What themes do you pursue in your work?

I pursue subversive themes in my work exploring thoughts on consumerism, religion, the mind, and the wonderful phenomena of the electromagnetic, electrical, and acoustic, waves that surround us all by identifying myself with classification that I call a "Waver" (rather than a sculptor or painter). Chaotic, ridiculous, funny, colorful, electric, messy, dangerous and subversive things excite me and I push myself to create the art that I want to see created in the world.

What is your dream project?

My dream project is a large collaborative global group to create "Exhibitable Objects" that reject values of minimalism and professionalism commonly seen in conservative institutions. These crazy, electric, sculptures would flood exhibition spaces and studios globally, overthrowing the dominant conceptual glass art "massaged bubble" and "clear conceptual paperweight" aesthetics and ushering in a zeitgeist of fearless, ceaselessly curious, inventive, and wild, artists and wavers. I dream of hacking the art world, especially the glass art faction.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?

All my life I have always wanted to be an artist (dreams do come true!), but if I was not an artist I would probably be working in the food service industry, an engineer, or traveling the world riding the wave of modern day imperialism by teaching English for cash everywhere that I can.

What's something about you that most people don't know?

Some people think of me as this crazy, reckless, mad scientist and that is really only half true. In reality, I have no social life and am constantly working, putting a tremendous amount of research and development into a constant stream of artistic inquiry. If only everything worked the first time!

Why are you a member of GAS?

I am a member of GAS because of that amazing Glass Art community! I cannot find such a supportive community with electrical hackers and the audio circuit bending scene really is not on the same level as the glass artist community is. Glass Art Society conferences are like star trek conventions for glass nerds. They are also like giant family reunions. To all my glassy family out there, see you later! See you at Pilchuck! See you in Norfolk! See you in Texas!
thumbnail
thumbnail

The Glass Art Society reserves the right to deny applications for Technical Display, advertising participation, GAS membership or the conference from anyone for any reason.