Artist Statement

My artmaking practice focuses on a broad range of socioeconomic themes including surveillance, consumerism, economic inequality, and the American spectacle. Investigation into technological advancement is often central to my working process, and informs both the concept and the physical medium of my subsequent projects. I am interested in the ways in which our lives and values are subtly transformed, for better or worse, by the introduction of new technologies and digital interconnectivity into an increasingly stratified social fabric.

My work is conceptually based, and I usually think up a new project idea before I’ve figured out how to feasibly implement its mechanics. From there I do research, planning, and sometimes reverse engineering to bring a concept to physical form. Materially, I work within the vocabulary of the everyday—often combining common household items, fragments of salvaged machinery, and programmed electronics—to create new objects or installations that exist just outside the realm of familiarity. This object-making process also serves to distill complex ideas into simpler, tangible forms. I frequently make work that speaks from the perspective of a slightly dystopian near future.

Alongside exhibiting in formal galleries, I like to infiltrate projects into public spaces, institutions, and businesses in particular, to force participation with people who may be unaccustomed or unwilling to engage with more traditional art forms. In addition, I often employ user interaction and kinetics to further draw in the viewer. Throughout, I am seeking to highlight and comment on the inherent injustices of our late-capitalist system. I aim for my projects to have social relevance, and ultimately strive to spark public discussion on important issues, even if it is in ways I didn’t originally intend.

Biography

Blake Fall-Conroy is an artist and self-taught mechanical engineer. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, he moved to Ithaca, New York in 2002 where he later received a BFA in sculpture from Cornell University. As an engineer, Fall-Conroy works for International Climbing Machines, where he designs and fabricates remote-controlled industrial robots that climb and inspect vertical surfaces. As an artist, his artmaking practice is conceptually motivated, commenting on a wide range of social issues from consumerism and the American spectacle, to surveillance and the ubiquitous use of technology. His projects often incorporate mechanical, electronic, or programmed components as well as objects or motifs found within the routine of daily life.

Fall-Conroy has exhibited work at the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology in Liverpool; Pavel Zoubok in New York City; the Science Gallery in Dublin; Baltan Laboratories in Eindhoven; the Museum of Capitalism in Oakland; the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito; the World Economic Forum, Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco; and SPACE Pittsburgh, among others, with an ongoing interactive installation in the Ithaca City Hall. He has previously spoken on the intersection of art and technology through TEDx Cortland and at the National Academy of Sciences.