Arizona and elsewhere...
Tristyn Bustamante achieved an MFA from Arizona State University and a BFA with a minor in Art History from Northern Arizona University. She has attended residencies and given lectures in places such as, Clayarch Gimhae Museum, The Armory Art Center in Florida and New Harmony Clay Project in Indiana. Her work involves the use of clay and other materials to produce carefully planned yet intuitively designed sculptural objects. Early work exhibited expressive systematic qualities while conveying a sense of ambiguity of function. More recently, Tristyn’s efforts have focused on investigating recent or emerging technologies and human/ animal perception while remaining indefinite of purpose.
Tristyn has exhibited regionally and nationally, as well as at a few locations abroad. As a community and education advocate, she has pursued teaching, learning and involvement in local communities whenever and wherever she can. Tristyn had worked both part-time and full-time as an Instructor of Art for a range of ages and skill sets at different institutions and as a Studio Director at the Armory Art Center. Currently she is pursuing artistic activities safely at home and working remotely as a case investigator on a contact tracing team and an art teacher.
Tristyn is appreciative to have had the support of family, friends and art enthusiasts throughout these endeavors, most significantly her immediate family.
2018 - Present
Perception is a process whereby incoming neural messages triggered by our senses, blends with existing emotion, memories and beliefs forming our inner reality. In the field of IT, researchers focus on learning how systems process and utilize streams of data. The field of AI goes further, in examining how perception works for development of intelligent machines. I’m interested in exploring the relationships of AI systems to human nature from a progressive perspective, informed by research into perception, exceptional animal capabilities, communication and emergent technologies.
This ongoing body of work, titled “Post Biological Mutations” serves as an effort to communicate through subject matter, involving references to animals and technologies. Gestural or static qualities contribute to the emotional undertone connecting each piece with that same underlying influence within one’s self. The paring of references to animal senses or capabilities with related current or emergent machines/ devices, imparts some sense purpose to each form. The emphasis on such curiously ambiguous function, can further rouse reflection on what it means to exist in tech dependent societies. The use of light and consideration of environment in which these creatures or organisms exit, is additionally of increasing interest to me. Recent pieces, Rural Repository and Bird Bot Outstation, incorporate some of these considerations along with the tenants.
Each sculpture is produced through a range of methods in building with [various] clays including pinch, coil, slab, press, slip casting and throwing. The combination of forms produced by hand combined with those on the wheel or cast, can offer a contrast for aesthetics of touched and untouched or rather natural and machined. This effect is further enhanced by choice of surface treatments, which may include anything required to contribute to the individualization of each form. The multiple references, building methods, and surface treatments then ultimately lead to the pieces having a biomechanical or biomimetic quality.
The intent for this work is to produce heedfully playful sculptures, which are ideologically deep yet approachable. Viewers are invited to look through the futuristic lens from which the pieces are imagined. The aim of this body of work is to impart an overall experience of wonderment toward a place in time, where technologies have integrated with living organisms and evolved. It is to further produce an impression, that one has entered a space, where the entities have been plucked from an unknown geography, where evidence of humanity is present only in the nature of the inhabitants and the systems in which they exist.
As our understanding of the senses thickens, researchers are pushing boundaries of the integration of these systems. I am motivated to produce work from both an investigative and instinctual position, while maintaining some level of accessibility for the effect of stimulating curiosity and conversation. Participants ideally will experience the sculptures in a way that turns their attention to surrounding advancements, their benefits and impact. A pause for contemplation is encouraged for reflection on one’s self and humanity within this context.
2014 - 2017
This body of work is produced through a process of informed intuitive ideation, development of form and conscious refinement. The production of each piece, from beginning to end, emerges from in depth studies of a collection of interrelated topics of inquiry paired with material consciousness and engaged problem solving.
Instilled with thoughts on the nature and processes of systems of movement, feedback loops and human behavior, I consider various machines, devices, the human body and methods of communication/ expression. Through a planned process of construction and arrangement, I create sculptures that suggest individual systems which seem to function for something. To maintain subtle suggestions of a human component, I incorporate elements to express a gesture or part of the body. The addition of fabricated / found parts and areas of connections, entries and exits lead to a mechanical or biomechanical feel and of something passing through or transmitting. Carefully chosen colors and textures of range of ceramic and non-ceramic surfaces are added to influence an effect of play between material, symbolism and piece’s identity.
The forms act as potential functioning objects, mechanical, electronic or anthropomorphic and pull viewers in to question their nature or purpose. Small intimate areas with representational parts, such as buttons or dials, trigger specific ideas of known devices, while the general abstraction of the forms, offer freedom for the viewer’s mind to wander. Ultimately, each piece is an expression of some aspect of a system at times also evocative of a feeling or mood. They are physical snapshots expressing the potential of an ambiguous yet expected event, which question purpose.