March 22, 2015 - Serena Qui writes: Since our earliest material interventions upon the earth, we have wanted for its substance to speak to us or on our behalf. During the aggregated human lifetime, we lay hands on geological substance with sureness that it communicates beyond our graspable experiences of time and space, and that we might impress upon it something of ourselves to carry past our limits. We do not create objects from our earthly sources so much as negotiate them into being.
In the most conscientious of ways, Joe Brittain works alongside his materials and guides them to enunciate their own properties. The results of his practice are behavioral situations in which matter performs its elemental tendencies: to rust, to evaporate, to cling, to expand. Brittain’s alchemy has been to deliver to our human senses these mannerisms that might otherwise unfold only over geological intervals of time, or invisibly.