About

I am currently living in the San Francisco bay area, working at pier9 as an instructor for the machines there. I am interested in computer programming, biology, evolution of organisms, sculpture, drawing, and Capoeira. I studied mechanical engineering and art at Carnegie Mellon. Now I am working part-time and exploring my art practice!  This website acts as a place to concentrate and organize stuff I am posting in the various alcoves of the internet. Here are links:

code projects: https://github.com/jlopezbi

images of things I like are here: http://blorgblorg.tumblr.com/

Other social media: ello.co/spikeyblobs instagram

My old blog is here


Artist Statement

The Built World and Wilderness

The built world we make for each other is full of flat spaces and hard objects. Our machines are mostly rigid. Our rooms are often rectangular prisms. My art is, in part, a reaction to so much flatness and hardness. In the absence of wiggly shapes, broken planes, and nested detail, I feel drained.

The contrast between the variegated wilderness and the planar built-world creates energy for me to create. The built world begs to be filled with living forms like those I observe in the wilderness, but ones which are mutated to suit its tastes.

Using machines to make things that are spikey and blobby is a reaction to the ‘flatness’ and ‘hardness’. One way that I do this is as follows: I translate a sketch into a 3d computer model. The shape gets ‘unfolded’ in the computer. This results in a flat ‘net’ stored as a 2d file. This file is the input to a computer controlled cutting machine, which cuts out the net in some thin material, most often paper. Finally I take that flat shape and fold it into the physical sculpture.

Creating organic shapes using this process involves a compromise between many facets and reasonable construction time. Thus expressing organic forms with this medium is an implicit battle between the simplifying tendency of machines and the bloopy-ness of the organic world. This battle results in forms which I think are appropriately mutated to suite the built world.

Another method for me to explore organic forms which are suited to the built world is through computer programming.

Not-Quite-Right

Other times when I make art I seek to extract some fundamental property observed in life and its habitats. The curving of a branch, the ruffled organelles within a cell, these sorts of phenomena are directed by many unseen forces. These forces combine to create systems of such wonderful dynamism that I am compelled to mimic them. But the subject of mimicry is not the precise outward appearance. Instead it is some underlying essence. The result of this mimicry are forms that I feel are vaguely familiar and yet are not-quite-right.

An important process for me to discover not-quite-right is drawing, really doodling, where no overarching plan exists. Instead the drawing unfolds as each shape is added. Organic forms like blobs, wrinkles, tangles, lobes, tubes, and spheres are especially fun for me. When I draw one shape, it suggests others, and drawings tend to grow as they see fit.

A New Direction

Being immersed in a void can cause tremendous levels of anxiety. Yet voids, when approached with care, can be places of calmness. Some of my most recent works relate to this dual nature of voids. These works strike me as benevolent, even whimsical, while still hinting at the void.


CV

Education

Carnegie Mellon University, graduated December 2014   B.S. Mechanical Engineering, minor: Fine Arts

Art Exhibitions

Phantom Impulse (group)

December 2012 — Frame Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Group show for advanced sculpture class at CMU: Phantom Limb: Sculptural Prosthetics.

Weird Science (group)

October 2012 – February 2013 — Richard Levy Gallery, Albuquerque, NM, USA

ISEA 2012 Exhibition: Final-5 Public Art Design (group)

September 2012 — hosted by 516 Arts, Albuquerque, NM, USA. Finalist for City of Albuquerque public art competition

 Organic Recursion (solo)

July 2011 — Harwood Art Center, Albuquerque, NM, USA

JLB (solo)

March 2010 — CIRQ gallery, Albuquerque, NM, USA