Daniel Bare is a ceramic technician and instructor in Grand Valley State University's Art and Design Department.
"In my work, I examine the impact of overproduction, consumption and disposal of resources to show how these actions affect ecological balance. I feel an over-powering sense of gluttony and greed when I see the plethora of disregarded products that are briefly used and disposed casually. This cycle is indicative of a human view of resources and the world as an endless and miraculously self-renewing material. Curiously, one could see a beauty and power in the vastness of multiples and the sheer numbers of objects that are crafted everyday without notice.
During my residency at the Pottery Workshop in Shanghai, China these feelings of the United States consumption were drawn into sharp perspective through my looking into a new culture. For instance in Yixing, a small town in China, I was moved by the tremendous volumes of pots lining the streets, which were neatly stacked taller than most semi-trucks. They were powerful symbols of human industriousness and the will to transform raw material into value and structure. Conversely, I also saw massive amounts of ceramic waste that was discharged by the factories. Plates were hopelessly stacked in the backyards of peopleâ€™s homes because there is no end user for pieces that are not perfect and it is too expensive to move them to a landfill. Upon my return I became hyper aware of the full circle of creation to consumption, and to the disregarded. In my work I interrupt this process before the final disposal to inject new meaning and to breathe life into these objects and to help them speak again.
As an artist, I work to reveal overlooked perceptions of everyday experiences as a way to reflect contemporary concerns and environmental change. My inspiration comes from multiple sites of static inaction such as thrift stores, landfills, recycling bins and abandoned kiln sites.Â By reorganizing ubiquitous items such as office mugs, figurines, and other ceramic detritus into stacked masses my sculptures transform the idle state of use and propel the objectsâ€™ lifecycle, pushing them toward a socially charged commentary about culture through the actions of decomposition, deformation and collapse.
With my work, I am also interested in the idea of the anonymous quiet discarded object, which is symptomatic of problems in humanity. Through using the post-consumed products as material, I am able to speak about systems to liberate the produced object from the sight of social intention and re-invent the role of the maker, both as skilled producer and as the creator of new potentialities for meaning." -Daniel L. Bare