Amenda Tate | Interdisciplinary Artist | West Des Moines | Art Jobs
Country: United States
City: West Des Moines
Industry: Multidiscipline
Professional Title: Interdisciplinary Artist
Specialties: Performance art, new media art, metalsmithing

- About -

I am an Interdisciplinary Artist with a background in fine art and metalsmithing. I studied Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University before going on to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Jewelry Design & Metalsmithing from Metropolitan State University of Denver in 2002. As an artist, I empower diverse audiences through the creation of exploratory objects, tools, processes, and performative works of Art. I promote critical thinking and visual literacy by modeling social connection within our digital world-- cultivating the capacity amongst individuals and communities to interpret the world in which we live through richly meaningful expressions and interactions. I began my career as a jeweler and metalsmith in 2002 with a love for materials. By utilizing the inherent properties of metal and its physical characteristics, I can create tangible objects that relate feeling in a unique and specific way in relation to the body and its presentation to others. However, I have grown to expand my conceptual notion of what qualifies as a “material.” In reality, medium has less to do with palpability. The medium can be intangible; it can be kinesthetic. I began to view the medium and the body as part of the process of creation as opposed to a site for a finished form. My more recent work since 2017 derives from movement. The beauty of dance is transformative beyond the scope of formulaic construct. It personifies lines, patterns, rhythms and fluid compositions. I was determined to push beyond sensory investigation into the realm of interaction. My artistic vision led me to create the implements, processes, and parameters necessary to produce work in new ways. I began fusing the elements of dance, electronics, painting, video, and performance. My current focus is the Manibus Project in which dance is translated into painted works of art utilizing a motion-controlled paint-bot that I created for this purpose. In Latin, the word Manibus means “from the hand.” I created my Manibus robotic painting device to act as an extension of my artistic hand. A dancer wears a motion-sensing remote directing Manibus to render an artistic depiction of elapsed time and motion. Using this new tool, I capture and translate the movement and dynamics of dance into abstract painted works of art. My works utilize both scientific and aesthetic processes to address topics such as identity, individuality, longevity, and the culture of social interaction in our digital era. My works have been featured in solo and group exhibitions across the U.S. Though the work utilizes technology, the source of creative input is human and the output is analog. The Manibus robot is not intended as an artist replacement, it is intended as an artistic tool, much like a paintbrush or a stencil. It is not automated; it requires human operation and assistance in real time. This work raises questions about authorship and responsible use of technology. Humans are encouraged to have meaningful face-to-face community interactions. Within the realm of New Media Art, I engage the public in social practice work blurring the separations between everyday life, the creation of art, the digital world, and performance. I facilitate the collaborative processes as a director combining the necessary components. Akin to Abstract Expressionism, I allow for spontaneity in the mark, but utilize my own set of constraints to orchestrate order in the process. I determine the scale, width of the brush, the color, the starts and stops, while resigning myself to accept some aspects of the output as they occur. At Manibus dance-painting events, I collaborate with public attendees. Individual participants take turns wearing the control device and dancing to add to a collective, layered painting. In the spirit of Happenings, I encourage the contribution of spontaneous creative energy within a prescribed structure. Viewers become co-creators and their energies render inherent meaning in the work of art. Together, we practice meaning-making as living bodies in motion evidenced by means of mark-making. My process yields an observable abstract representation of what has transpired. It is an opportunity to analyze the fleeting movements of dance. The works take shape as dynamic linear renderings that embody kinetic verve. The emotion of the dance becomes a painted vestige honoring that instance in time. The lingering traces are mapped connections facilitated by the encounter of art, engineering, and technology.