Interview With Tim Lewis, Kinetica Art Fair, London

Opening today, Kinetica Art Fair, one of London’s annual landmark art exhibitions and a permanent fixture in the Art Fair calendar, brings together galleries, art organisations and curatorial groups from around the world who focus on kinetic, electronic, robotic, sound, light, time-based and multi-disciplinary new media art, science and technology. Tim Lewis, who has worked with Kinetica on numerous exhibitions and projects including exhibiting at Kinetica’s art fair in February 2011, combines mechanical devices and sculpture to investigate, test and experiment with its own doubts and perception of the world.

Aesthetica spoke to Tim to discuss his work and this year’s fair.

A: Mechanical devices are a slightly unusual artistic medium, why is that you work with it?

TL: Even as a kid I clumsily tried to build little working models and devices to mimic almost any situation I came across, of course I didn’t realise that this could be a kind of art, it was just something I did. It was only half way through art college that it occurred to me that this could perhaps be a valid medium to work in, the palette i wanted to use.

A: Can you tell us about the new work you a producing for Kinetica 2013.

TL: Last year one of the pieces i showed was very much a long term work-in-progress, This year I’m going to show the same piece but further along. Although mechanically its simpler than many of my works, the mood of the object and articulation of the idea have given me more trouble and concern than anything else I have worked on recently, and yet it doesn’t seem to be something that I can stop working on. I’m not sure that this one will ever get to stage that I can consider it finished. To me its the changes I make to this piece from one year to the next that could be considered the actual work on show.

A: Your work raises questions about the boundaries between nature and fabrication- is this a concern that you want your audiences to pick up on?

TL: To be honest, I don’t a see a boundary. Birds build nests, termites their mounds, and we our highways, houses and novelty drinking straws. I very much think we’re part of nature, and struggle with our role in it from within, as opposed to some psuedo god-like view from above. The piece Pan that I’m showing this year at the art-fair is a deliberately crude attempt to construct such a god out the detritus laying around in my studio.

A: What inspires you everyday?

TL: Pretty much anything I find puzzling or curious. Although at the time a lot of the ideas seem to come instantly and complete, one can look back and see that they really started a couple of years ago and its just taken that long for the various threads to come together. Once they have have though the challenge is more that of exactly how to build them and bring them into some kind of existence.

A: What will you be working on next?

TL: Currently I’m exploring a number of new themes and ideas. I’m not sure whuich ones will turn out to be pieces I continue with. Most are only at very tentative stage at the moment. The most dominant of which is building a space where two or three machines can genuinely intereact with each other, not with any functional intent, but out of curiosity, just to see whats happens.

Tim Lewis at Kinetica Art Fair, 27 February until 3 March, Ambika P3, 35 Marylebone Road, NW1 5LS.

Credits: Images courtesy of Tim Lewis and Kinetica Art Fair