KEITH TYSON: 6 Questions

I had the opportunity meet Keith Tyson at his opening for his monumental sculptural installation Large Field Array at PaceWildenstein on September 8th, 2007. Here are six questions we asked him.

AWD: Does Large field array represent an evolution or a type progression from Geno Pheno?

Yes, insomuch that the Geno Pheno works were always an attempt to define the space between the two panels and the paintings themselves were simply the parenthesis by which that space was defined. In Field Array I got the viewer to physically occupy this "space between" and extended the binary dialectic into a multi node grid.

AWD: How were you transformed by making Large Field Array ?

I developed greater faith in the process of serendipity, synchronicity and gestational practice. The process of creating Field Array was an organic one; I had to sail in it rather than row against it. Field Array time and again proved itself to be bigger and more beautiful than my conception of it.

AWD: Does philosophy instruct your work primarily or does the work construct your philosophy?

No sun without retina, no retina without the sun.

AWD: How do you believe your work changes the viewer?

The aim in Field Array was to challenge the status of the isolated artwork, to get the viewer to release the critical blockage ���What is Keith Tyson trying to say / do ?��� and by giving up on the idea of being able to hold the piece conceptually, let the logic and poetics of their internal reactions inform them.

AWD: What advice would you give a new artist?

There is no point giving advice because artists have to learn empirically. In the long term its okay to make mistakes, experiment and to produce. You will be criticised, you may even be hated. Part of the job I am afraid. Just keep pursuing your bliss, you will either succeed or give up knowing you tried. Both results are okay.

AWD:What role does contemporary art have in the cultural realm?

I don't know, it's not my place to know. Contemporary art is just that �Ķ..Contemporary art. All the rest is interpretation. Should it be political? It is. Should it be philosophical? It is. Should it solve things ? it does. All I know is that I enjoy making it, looking at it, thinking about it and even buying it sometimes, so it brings some pleasure to at least part of the population.