Kinnebrew Writing Homepage


Artists Statement 1998

Personal Philosophy 2004





Joseph Kinnebrew

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Sent to my friend Ted Gardner (Santa Barbara CA) 3/20/08 for his book and inclusion in my bio data (revised 2010)


Change is perhaps the one undeniable aspect of the cosmos and our shared life experience that everyone can agree upon.  But change is something most people are fearful of.  I often point out that nostalgia can be or is a dangerous mistress and thus to deny change is both dangerous and wasteful.  Examples of the denial of change can readily be seen in our time in the fundamentalists approach to religion, xenophobia and rejection of new scientific concepts. Every day the media reports the consequences of our denial to us.

Change is essential to science and art both of which are, at times, very close together in their objectives and resultant expressions.  The relatively recent work of the impressionists and certainly the post-modernists as well as “modern literature” and their relationship to 20-century physics quickly comes to mind.  Art has imbedded in its expression a unique way to facilitate our understanding and acceptance of change.  By using metaphor as the illustrative language the complexities if not intricacies of change are communicated in a more portioned way and thus become not only multilayered poetry but meaningful revelation by degree rather than total imposition and confrontation.  An example is the relationship of the polychromed stenciled hand on the wall at Altimira… ad sum.

Over the years others and myself have tried to make some sense of the multimedia approach in my work.  The most credible explanation seems to be my youthful and initially subconscious fascination with change.  In the mid 60’s this was expressed as large-scale sculpture that hung precariously in space supported by thin cables.  The pieces later would be seen to clearly illustrate frozen or arrested motion.  An artificial moment to consider change.  Objects in real space seized in time as if in a stop action photograph.  They denied the reality of gravity, as we knew it.  In their unreality they projected another reality beyond that of our own.

Later and repeatedly my work would and continues to explore the seemingly impossible nature of nature visa vie denying the world of logic and reason in favor of the great containments of semiology.  I can not say why this appears to be a life long interest that at times boarders on obsession.  I only know that the world of ideas that exists in my mind between art and science is a place of endless change and renegotiation.  I am exhilarated by it and renewed each day by the discovery of new information and a desire to express the challenge and often uncertainty of my reaction to it.  As we approach the “Singularity” I feel well prepared with a life long body of work to be a participant in it even though age will limit my time on the field. 

I am not a scientist with technical knowledge.  Instead I am an artist who sees himself as an inventor and voyager.  One who frequently reaches out in the hope that others will join me.  I intend to create devices that contribute to our understanding of both large and small issues, ideas and the artifacts in our lives and certainly the unending and seemingly impossible far reaches of the cosmos.  While my contribution may be a nonevent or quite small it is intended to not be that of just a participant but instead a player who trains hard and plays not to win but instead for the joy of being on the team and anticipating those many things we can not, after all, anticipate or know specifically.  In the end it is to find great comfort in leading life in the question.  It is the reflection of the reality I have lived to know and accept.  I gaze upon my shadow each day with renewed interest, curiosity and gratitude.