I'm an artist.
"So what kind of artist are you?"
Oh, I do installation.
A genre of art which incorporates any media, including the physical features of the site, to create a conceptual experience in a particular environment.
Really broad for something that can leave such an impression.
I like to define it as:
Anything(s) made out of any material(s) that is arranged for any reason(s) in a particular space(s) to communicate an idea(s). But, the most important thing about installation art is… it's temporary. And it should be. That's what creates the conceptual experience.
A few months ago at Artwalk I was enjoying the Toshiro-Kaplan building when I came across an installation of these bowls made out of salt crystals balanced delicately on lumber cut at different levels. Unfortunately I do not remember the name of the artist or the piece but the picture of it in my mind is so clear and I will will certainly recognize when I see their work again. There was such a feeling when I walked into the room. It was not the only piece there, although you wouldn't know it. Effective installation can't really ever be accurately transcribed because of the overwhelming change in perception, it should grab you and bring you to some other place entirely. You should get lost in it. And i was floating on those bowls - flying and bouncing across them - and yet I felt as if there was something that was supposed to be there but intentionally missing. It was uplifting and eerie at the same time.
But who really wants to buy this stuff? I don't. Just like I love Damien Hirst's satirical pharmacy - yeah, its fucking fabulous but am i really going to hang 4 shelves of prescription boxes on my wall? And where would i put those 126 salt bowls? I am constantly trying to wrap my mind around how these artists are making a living, and at the same time I feel impassioned to follow this path.
I can't speak for anyone else, but I like installation art because I want to force you into my eyes, because of the challenge of it, because of the people who get it, because of the ability to change someones mind if for only a second. When art surrounds you, you have no choice but to submit yourself to it.