Sam Bunn is an artist working between installation, performance and film. His practice is based on an experimental approach to making and on finding joy in the incomplete and the prototype. These investigations focus on the interactions between humans and the architecture of modern life.
Hoping to avoid pessimism, each work can be seen as an insertion or rethinking of everyday situations that involve our using systems and machines. There is a quasi-scientific flavour to the work, wherein the artist is held up as a subject of observation, as much as the physical elements on display. Video often serves as documentation and also as the point at which objectivity might claim to arrive.
His recent works have all involved explorations into the topic of utopia, often with other people, with a particular focus on the absence of positive utopias (called eutopias) from mainstream film. This was the subject of his master thesis at the Kunstuniversiät Linz, entitled How to Change the World Using Art: Imagining an Institute for eUtopia. You can read an article he wrote about it here, which was developed in connection with the Utopian Studies Society (USS).
Starting with Grussgott (2014), where the eutopian theme can first be seen to emerge, Bunn's later works have all delved into this subject in one way or another. He is currently working on a eutopian computer game called Kittenface Saves the World and has recently initiated a online resource for creating eutopian fiction called An Institute for eUtopia.
Serious additional and continuous thanks here to Kathi and Solomon, and to my mum, Carol, and dad, Tim, for their continuing support and engagement x x x x
'If there were to be an over-riding handle for all the works, such that you could grab them and find out what they all had to do with one another, then that handle would be a container. All the works attempt to contain something.' KittenFace, 1975
'An adventurer in the art realm. Smallness, bigness, grandness of intent, minimal insertion, twattery. Bunn is exploring the possibilities of what art can, is and should be allowed to do.' Steven Sieben, 2007
'Bunn is often heard to declare with great enthusiasm: "We are living in the future!" And then more queitly to mutter, "Technologically at least." He goes on... "All of the dreams of my 1980's childhood and more are come to pass, in mindblowing ways. Yet my utopian ideals are not realized and I feel totally unempowered to affect this situation. Sometimes I think we are getting closer. Sometimes further away. And of course I'm trying not to be scared by big issues like global catastrophe etc., but I am scared. And of course I'm as distracted by my own individuality as we all are.' The Obvservation Lounge, 2013