Sculptural works by Meghan Caveney
Of the many sources of inspiration for my work, the idea of a “circular economy” is the most important to my practice. In stark contrast to the industrial model we are currently married to, the core idea of a circular economy maintains that there is no such thing as a byproduct in an ecosystem. There is a finite amount of material in our world, and nothing is safe from our reach.
My concern as an artist is to pay as much respect to the life of the media I use as possible. The physical remnants of these works will far outlast anyone’s understanding of them. This is, in fact, my interest in materials—they are entirely unconcerned with me, so any choice I make in using them reflects only my own character.
Many of these materials are already highly refined, unnatural products like pure metals, ceramics and paper. Despite the nearly minted quality they have, raw materials are only new in that they have yet to live out their intended life as human artifacts. This perspective is crucial because it frames my work not as a creative process, but as a salvaging of things already created but left behind. By intervening in the processes of manufacture, distribution, and recovery of manmade matter, I have a unique opportunity in the arts to be an un-producer, which in turn, exposes the role we have played in producing our own destructive nature.
Entropy is a concept that has always fascinated me. At a basic level, the theory suggests that all things decay, and in the process become part of the landscape. Entropy is the force of chaos that dominates everything over time.