Jesse Small


“Empty Objects” New work by Jesse Small

Jesse’s metal sculptures take the form of familiar objects converted into ritual objects, through a process of cutting thousands of holes. Disrupting the forms with excessive ornamentation, the primary task in this body of work is to explore how objects store and retrieve information in the absence of function. This loosely defines the sculptures as ritual objects in the absence of a parent ritual.

Ancient ritual objects have proven to be dense stores of information about the parent culture, often carved in stone or made of metal. Today we’re moving forward entirely on electric information. Information no longer relies of the durability of an object, but rather, how many different “machine states” a digital brain can conjure moment to moment. This has severely disrupted the use of ornament in durable objects.

Jesse’s sculpture uses new theories of ornament to deploy information in objects for people living today. It asks about the current state of freewill in the duality between function and ornament, where ritual has been decentralized. Using new technology and modern materials, this body of work stands for revitalization of ornament in a post-ritual, digital era.