Interview with Chris Boyd: Chaosmos and Boyd

Interview with Chris Boyd:  Chaosmos and Boyd
Written by Victoria Samantha Smith
22 September 2010
Photographs Copyright of the Artist.

Chris Boyd, a young and upcoming artist from Warrington, Cheshire, is well versed and established in the creative sector nationally with a growing international audience to his work. He graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BA (Hons) Art Degree in 2006. Whilst a student he was noted for his exceptional artistic vision by many in the professional cultural and media sectors.

He was the joint winner of the Big Art Challenge, UK Art Prize 2004, a six part  tv series aiming to find the next rising art stars on Channel 5. One of the Judges, Brian Sewell, a renowned Art Critic for national press and television, referred to Boyd as ‘an undisciplined genius’. Boyd and his videos have been broadcast on global music channels. MTV, 4 Music, BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5 and BBC radio to name a few. He has exhibited and screened his unique digital projects in some of the world’s leading galleries, including Tate Britain, Fact Centre, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, the Lowry, Urbis, Cornerhouse and many more.

In 2006, he curated and exhibited in Chaosmos at the View Two Gallery. This was a highly successful show that platformed the contemporary art of several recent northwest graduates. Boyd exhibited a range of work in this show, but it was his signatory film ‘The Calling’ that grasped the audiences attention.

A digital video short that combines the sense of high art on par with Renaissance culture and digital media. The film portrays a sequence of undulating bodies like a sea cascading to culminate into a spiral; as the scene changes and moves outwards it transforms into a galaxy. A profound, ethereal and thought provoking digital short that touches on the meaning of existence.

Early 2010, Boyd commenced with creative and curatorial research to organise Chaosmos II. He consulted with national and international artists whose work imbued the philosophies of Chaosmos. In conjunction with this, as lead artist, he created  a new series of art to be launched in this show . Chaosmos II is a cross-disciplinary initiative where artists from the literary, theoretical and visual arts sector come together.

The  Chaosmos II programme consists of an array of alternative events from Live Art, VJ Performances, Artist Talks and a collaboration with Culturepool.
I attended the exhibition and interviewed Chris Boyd.

The Tide of Trial and Error (Large scale floor and wall installation with combined digital projection and soundworks), Chris Boyd © 2009 – 2010.
The Tide of Trial and Error (Large scale floor and wall installation with combined digital projection and soundworks), Chris Boyd © 2009 – 2010.

VSS: What are your early professional developments as an artist?

CB: I wanted to make moving paintings. The short videos I made were visceral cathartic experiments and I was experimenting in sound composition. These felt like symbolist self-portraits and included materials that I associated with a Eurasian inheritance. Many of the eccentricities in the work came from dream imagery and drawings. As a student, I was commissioned to make music videos and involved in other productions where I gained further insights into its exclusive skills. These I would use later in merging production with my philosophical preoccupations.

VSS: What are the ideas that form your work?

CB: At university, I established a groundwork for concepts and themes which I’m now working on in a video installation project called Accelerated Self. In this work, I began marking myself as an author into my own work. I discovered that my ideas fell naturally within the Deleuzian theoretical approach to Chaosmos. My work deals with the idea of space and liminality, how these move and interchange with each other in different contexts. I’m interested in these hallucinatory planes, the blurring of reality and representation, glitches and marks where content mutates into form and materiality.

VSS: Brian Sewell called you ‘an undisciplined genius’ during the judging for the Channel 5 Big Art Challenge UK Art Prize when you were selected as joint winner. How did you feel about his comment?

CB: He was very enthusiastic and interesting to talk to. His feedback was immensely helpful and I felt it was a confirmation and recognition of what I was trying to achieve. It has helped me move forward with an assurance that I didn’t have before.

VSS: Can you explain more the genesis of Chaosmos as a curatorial project?

CB: It started in 2006 as an exhibition launched in the View Two Gallery during the Liverpool Biennial. The aim was to bring forward a group of recent Northwest graduates who touched on a range of creative concepts and techniques. I was one of the artists, but also worked as the Curator to organise and manage it. The title was very much an extension of the theoretical interests I pursued in my work and one that can be opened up to potential detours. It was always my aim to follow up with another exhibition. This took a while as I spent time between the music industry and creative industries on commissions in the UK and US. By 2010, I  started researching other artists whose work fell within the remit of the Chaosmos ideas. The exhibition was  organized into thematic levels corresponding with each of the galleries floors. The first level was a material starting point. The second level deals with bodily and socio-political boundaries and the third level with virtual spaces, invisible forces, digital, metaphysical and entropic states. These were corroborated with an intentional religiosity. The spatial rhythms are reflected in the iambic pentameter in the haptic poetry for each of the levels and the content with the other this visual language.

VSS: What do you hope to realise from the Chaosmos II exhibition?

CB: Chaosmos is very much an ongoing initiative. It is something that formulates some of the ideas behind my own creative practice, but extends into how art is viewed and experienced. After the 2010 exhibition, there are prospects to develop this curatorial theme, as the feedback from both the past and current Chaosmos exhibitions has been positive and constructive.

VSS: What are your future plans?

CB: I will be focusing on a new collection of video art and a series of sculptures. One of the narrative projects I’m moving forward with is a meditation on violence. Chaosmos will continue .

VSS: What do you want your legacy to be and to be remembered for?

CB: If anything I would like people to remember my work.

VSS: Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. Good luck for the future. I will be watching the space of ‘Chris Boyd’ for new and exciting projects.

CB: Cheers.

Chaosmos II runs until Saturday 30 October 2010 at  the View Two Gallery on Mathew Street, Liverpool.  It is a strong exhibition with a range of art that will give you food for thought.

Chaosmos (Digital Painting), Chris Boyd © 2010.
Chaosmos: Acrylic, gouache, glass, hair, volcanic ash (Mount Pinatubo eruption, Philippines), holographic film, digital print, compact discs, mica, charcoal and graphite on canvas.
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