I understand a culture by what it has abandoned, discarded, or abrogated. My art functions as salvage ethnography to attribute meaning to events of the past. My projects empathize with communal historical experiences and attempt to make sense of the present through a re-exploration of a common history.
I notice the things through which events are communicated: The 35mm Kodachrome slide of a loved one, the 8mm film reel of an event, the micro film of schematics, the information on a TV screen, the devices that mediate human relationships.
When events occur, I survey human and mechanical variables of sudden change: Lovers separate, a family member dies, an aircraft crashes; this information is conveyed by an image or recorded in a document. I find these artifacts and use them to identify the potential factors of their existence. As a means to understand the human intentions that once used it, I practice reanimating moribund media mediating devices are discarded when they no longer work.
When outdated, things are forgotten. Machines represent humans and a mechanical imperfection is only a reflection of its maker. In their broken state, machines show the human fallible condition. I am inclined to repair things because doing so represents the hope for the atonement of imperfection. By fixing or drawing them, I identify myself with discarded machines and broken devices; by reanimating the dead, I become a part of a new relationship of history and artifact.
Jason Kofke understands a culture by what it has abandoned, discarded, or abrogated. He uses art as salvage ethnography to attribute meaning to events of the past. His projects empathize with communal historical experiences and attempt to make sense of the present through a re-exploration of a common history.
Kofke is a recipient of a 2011 Artadia Grant and a 2009 Idea Capital Grant. He has been awarded residencies at ARCUS Project in Moriya, Japan, The Arctic Circle and Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Artprint residence in Barcelona, Spain, Long Stories Project in Perm, Russia, Living Walls Conference in Atlanta, USA, the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China, and the Elizabeth Foundation in New York City. Kofke’s work has been exhibited at the A4 Center for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney, Australia, the Telfair Museum, Savannah, USA, the Brest Museum in Jacksonville, Fl, Jack the Pelican Gallery in Brooklyn, NYC, FLUX projects in Atlanta, USA, Mason Murer Fine Art Gallery in Atlanta, USA, The Elizabeth Foundation in NYC, Fuse Gallery, NYC, USA, The Gallery of China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China, Arthouse Gallery in Brooklyn, NYC, Artspace Gallery in Richmond, USA, and RED Gallery in Savannah, USA. He earned his BFA in 2005 and MFA in 2008 from Savannah College of Art and Design. Kofke’s studio is based in Atlanta, USA, but he travels frequently in overseas residency programs and arts projects.
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