Based in aesthetic systems such as cartography (relative geographic space), architecture (experiential space), and neurology (cognitive/ psychological space/ structures) – my work seeks to play the subjectivity of the human experience against the intended or perceived objectivity of organizational structures such as technology, science, space, and time.
Through sculpture, drawing, and printmaking, I make maps.
Images used to create these maps might be derived from memory, or from data, or from photographic images. They may be historical in nature or simply immediate photographic documentation of a banal subject. Sometimes the images used are the discarded bi-product of a process that had a noble intention. Other times the images are hyper charged with personal information that may not be factual.
Once a field of data reaches critical density, it must be reinterpreted. Territories emerge by drawing over the map, or sections are literally cut away and added to another map, or another sculpture.
There is an incongruity when one visual system is imposed upon another. With the simultaneity of unrelated aesthetics, multiple narratives play out concurrently. There is simplicity in this complexity, and the syncopation of multiple complexities helps to reveal that simplicity. Somehow, if there is enough information, it will work despite itself again, a cacophony of relativist values that is greater than any one might have been alone.
I want drawings to become objects; objects crystallizing ideas that are represented in drawings that become manifest in constructions that again become flattened in photographs and perhaps fixed in memories that are forgotten.
About Mark Parsons
After years of studying biology, Mark Parsons shifted his focus to making sculpture. While in school, the artist rebuilt a sailboat and left the US to spend 3 years circling the Earth. 30 countries and 30,000 miles later, he resumed life as a carpenter for two years before pursuing a Masters Degree at Cornell University. Ranging in scale and medium from sculpture, to printmaking and large wall drawings, Parsons’ artwork draws formally and conceptually from neurological imaging, cartography, and architecture. Parsons has been the recipient of the Raymond Brumer Award, a Jacob Javits National Fellowship, 2004 International Fellow (VSA Arts), a Newhouse Foundation Grant, several Faculty Development Grants (Pratt Institute), and two FIPSE Grants. Parsons has exhibited his work at the United Nations, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Provincetown Art Museum, the New Bedford Art Museum, Springfield Art Museum, and several private galleries in New York City.