Stephen Cartwright


Stephen Cartwright
Acrylic and Resin

Stephen Cartwright earned a BA in Studio Art from the University of California, Davis in 1996 and an MFA in Sculpture from Tyler School of Art in 1998. He was a visiting assistant professor in the Sculpture department at Virginia Commonwealth University from 2005-08. From 2008-2019 he served as an assistant and then associate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also served for a time as the Associate Director at the School of Art and Design at Illinois. Cartwright exhibits and speaks about his work widely. Recent activities include solo exhibitions at Fermilab National Laboratory and Rockford University, and group shows at the Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art and the University of Richmond Museum. Recent lecture venues include the Quantified Self Global Conference, Amsterdam, and Technarte, Bilbao. Cartwright lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.

ARTIST STATEMENT

My work exists at the confluence of science and art, where hard data intersects with the intangible complexities of human experience. I create sculptures, drawings, animations, and installations derived from data and information. This information includes personally recorded data sets like my location every hour, mileage from several modes of transport, spending, and weather conditions. Additionally, I use information gathered by public and international organizations.

My Latitude and Longitude Project, initiated June 21, 1999, records my exact position and elevation every hour using GPS. I have collected and cataloged more than 200,000 locations of my body in space and time. The conscious action of documenting my position heightens my awareness of place, geography, landscape and routine. As I live, I record my seemingly insignificant track as details of my trajectory multiply to reveal patterns, intersections and irregularities and begin to define a life.

The emphasis of my recent work has become more universal in nature, with source material including: weather, climate, human migration, and population demographics. I am investigating large phenomena that are consequential to our lives and trying to understand and track their impact on our lives. I have a special interest in the movement of people and groups, and how they navigate the world. Collected data serves as concrete evidence against shifting personal perceptions. We are all immersed in geographic, social, and cultural systems and I translate these subjective experiences into tangible artworks. Beautiful topographies emerge from the data we generate.