Associate Professor of Art, Northern Illinois University
I view the accomplishments of human civilization with great skepticism. Throughout documented history, humanity has employed the crudest of methods in order to modify the most sophisticated of systems; nature. Not unlike children, we engage in play with the goal of altering that which is beyond our understanding.
Science and the building blocks of life are manipulated in a vast overestimation of human ability. The result is that our own progress is ultimately the cause of ecological destruction. Against this, no successful argument can be made. My work is an investigation of both the destructiveness and the splendor of human progress – a conflict aptly illustrated using the materials and processes of three-dimensional printing and those of historic craft. It is essential to recognize that technology is a continuum. It is ridiculous to design an overly complicated structure to bend a single floorboard.
However, this ridiculousness must be viewed in the context of the folly of the manufactured alteration of our natural environment. Digital fabrication allows a visual and material complexity not available through other avenues. In striking similarity to the endeavors that I criticize, my work is impossible without technology.
Jamie Obemeier (b. 1975) is an artist and metalsmith living in Lombard, Illinois, where he works and maintains his studio. He earned an MFA from the Indiana University School of Fine Arts and a BFA from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He is currently Associate Professor at the School of Art at Northern Illinois University, where he teaches metalwork and digital fabrication. His work is exhibited internationally and has been published in many periodicals, in addition to several survey texts on the subject of jewelry design and metalwork. He has received grants from the Indiana Arts Commission, Indiana University, Northern Illinois University, and the Illinois Arts Council.