We had the good fortune of connecting with Jared Robison and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jared, why did you pursue a creative career?
I chose an artistic path because I believe creativity will be humanity’s next collective awakening. Unfortunately, at the moment, not everyone gets the chance to follow their passion in life. Most are constrained to survive under capitalism, where extra time and energy is futile. My argument favors giving people more free time to create and innovate a future that represents a sustainable society.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
By combining durational-performance and video art into site-specific locations, my work plays with the idea of altering the human psyche and body while practicing presentness. I rely on various transformative processes as a means to reflect upon broader ontological questions and existential anxieties that underlie the human condition. This is an ongoing inquiry into strategies that foster the contemplation of what it means to fundamentally be and exist as a social creature in a world that appears to exist (dualistically) separate from the Self. Thinking about personal dualisms and the processes behind individuation, my current work explores the intersection of personal identity and interconnectedness with transformative objects. It is here where I circumambulate and meditate upon patterns of meaning, purpose, and time through metaphorical reenactments with my mind, body, and everyday objects. There is a level of humor and absurdity that reveals itself in my practice, and there are long spans of time where I question the meaning and purpose of my pursuit. The process of Self-exploration tends to be circular in nature, and a feeling of senselessness begins to manifest if taken too seriously for too long. But what I feel is most important to questioning the Self or any journey one finds themselves in, is to, for if only a brief moment, get lost in its grandeur. To get lost in its process, to free associate and listen to the unconscious part of our being. For it is there where we can become informed of a higher expression of ourselves. As an overarching approach to my curiosity, I continue to question the Self beyond what it appears to be and propose that to live in the present moment means to actively play hide-and-seek in the paradox of Selfhood. It is here where one’s awareness perpetually maintains imprisonment to habitual patterns of behavior and ineffable experience. My methodology embraces the other, the unknown, and the uncomfortable while emphasizing the process over the outcome. Through the implementation of these fundamental and, at times, absurd approaches, I gain a greater understanding of my place within it all.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m not the type of person to plan out an itinerary per se; when I travel, I like to stay away from the more touristy destinations and explore the nuances that make up a specific region. That usually entails learning by word of mouth and by experientially experiencing the culture. Here in Tucson, any of the parks and local dives are a great place to start. Let the people and the spaces around them command your next move.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to recognize the Art program at Slippery Rock University and the School of Art’s program at The University of Arizona, where I earned a BFA in 2016 and an MFA in 2020. Both programs taught me how to combine critical thinking skills with creative pursuits. Reflecting in this present moment reminds me that my education at both schools allowed me to unearth an inner dialogue with myself that, in return, has cultivated me into a more empathic and compassionate person. In my experience, empathy and compassion are one by-product of spending time in creative flow states. Artistic spaces are one of the most significant things lacking in our day-to-day culture. Having dedicated seven years of my adult life to them, I can say with every part of my being that they are, at the very least, transformative. They act as a blank canvas to express the innermost part of who you think you ought to be, not who capitalism demands you to be.