Liam Wilson

U.S. Male, 1min 30sec,(2020)

Survivor, 2min 1sec,(2020)

5 Surprise Eggs Disney
Pixar Cars Super Mario
Mickey Mouse,
9min 49sec loop,(2019)

Archangels (2021)

This work consists of a set of cutouts, drawing inspiration from carnival games and movie theatre standees, that play on our perversion of violence and struggle. These cutouts create lighthearted moments for engagement, quick instant role play, and even photo ops. So by using this existing framework of engagement I’ve applied the same tactic I’ve used before in pushing a theme to it’s acceptable limits. So the figures are taken largely from images of conflict or intimacy; maybe from cctv footage, maybe from allegorical paintings, or just a movie or video game. In creating these moments myself I use this human perversion to draw in engagement. Once engagement occurs there is a Lacanian scenario of becoming represent; identifying one’s self in a different light. Even those not participating in the work play an active role as they become the idle bystanders, by taking photos or even the act of walking away.

So the next step for these cutouts was to contextualize them in space. Once placed in these environments they are activated even further. For instance this image is taken from a painting of two characters in hell, doomed to eternal combat. Behind these combatants in the painting, though, are Dante and Virgil, idly observing during their tour of hell.

By omitting the actual image of the cutouts and leaving it the bare material, it allows for even more ambiguity in the roles. Raw plywood is often used in construction, to shield us, or boarding up storefronts from impending violence. Most recently, last Summer there were protests and lootings all across the United States in reaction to the murder of George Floyd and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The plywood now takes on meanings of communal resiliency and anticipatory conflict.

In order to elevate the material was altered by customizing its existing details. For instance, when plywood sheets are produced they often have small, single-ply, elliptical shapes punched into the surface to cover imperfections. Using a CNC router contemporary shapes, such as emojis, were added to add a moment of play and conversation once discovered. Another detail involved in the materials production is a blue printed label printed continuously along the surface. Though often illegible, these are markings of its maker and details about its structural integrity. By creating my own label, I create another reference to struggle and identity. By using the image of drama masks it evokes themes of theatre and role play. The text included is a mixture of quotes from Rachel Dolezal and Jacques Lacan regarding the complexities of identity, and new markings of its maker. These added details create a material seduction, distracting from the possibly frightening situations at hand.

Apostle (2017)

Apostle is a reimagining of Altar Set by Leandro Gagliardi. Comprised of four columns, this contemporary take on religious lighting mimics the rhythm established by Gagliardi’s candlesticks and saints. Just as each saint included in Gagliardi’s piece is positioned in each of their respective gestures, Apostle recreates these poses through light. John, Peter, Paul, and David, all Apostles of Jesus Christ, draw in a viewer through an inherent religious obligation. Apostle is an attempt to match Gagliardi’s achieved visceral reaction.

paper, foamcore, lighting components

Mary, not Mary (2018)

latex, cheesecloth, lighting component

11 x 6 x 5.5in, 27.94 x 15.24 x 13.97cm

to be prayed to or ogled at. Sculpted by hand and cast in various materials (concrete, gypsum, polyester resin, sawdust, & urethane rubber) to explore and blur the boundaries of praise in the context of religion and sexuality.

iterations in concrete, gypsum, polyester resin, sawdust, & urethane rubber

graphite on paper, excerpts from Vladimir Arkhipov‘s “Home-Made”- a book of Russian folk objects

L20-SOCIAL (2016)

You have found yourself in a time of much needed introspection. With these four tools, you will be able to materialize your needs through simplified forms, representative of the actions associated with each tool. L20-WORK: The motivator. L20-ASSERT: The instigator. L20-ADJUST: The adaptor. L20-SNIP: The eliminator. Based on a set of daily personal questions, this tool set is meant to be a catalyst for action. What aspect of your life do you need to work through? When should you stand up for yourself? What can be tweaked? If push comes to shove, when should you simply cut something out of your life completely? L20-SOCIAL gives you the push you need to answer these questions.

cast resin, aluminum, protective case, literature              

Sonificator (2017)

With sound sensors and a micro-controller I have prototyped and coded a device to simply translate sound to color in any space. An apparatus that is easily attached to the back of a camera phone holds the sensor and an RGB light just in view of the camera so it appears in only the bottom fifth of the image. Once a panorama photo is initiated, the sensor begins collecting sound data and translating that in real time to the LED. Any changes in audio will be visualized through the LED as a light painting, imposed on the panorama photo. While still in the developmental stages, I am in the process of collaborating with Damoni Lavow, a DRW Prep high school student in Homan Square, for a more unique insight into sonification. Using a student’s own personal color connotations and sound interests I get a more interesting view into this community rather than imposing my own experiences onto a new location.

This is a continued project which has evolved into a workshop at the Homan Square chapter of the Chicago Youth Centers. The workshop was held with roughly 40 children aged 12 - 18, along with plans to continue in the future.

arduino, lighting component, iPhone               2017