Rowan Burkam has a working program as an artist that embraces provocative and paradoxical phenomenologies of experience related to engaging with geometric motifs. His installations often involve the play of parallax effects as a metaphor for thinking subject-object relations anew. Rather than reduce geometric elements to a static instance of design aesthetics, Burkam openly courts the expression of visual dynamism as a mode of integral experience that incorporates the spectator into a sense of motion that issues from the intersection of geometric effects and affects.
Tracking coordinates, a shift in personal perspective and the dissonance provided for by objects coming together in uncommon and uncanny ways is part of how Burkam uses art to highlight the situated nature of aesthetic experience. This includes embracing modalities of making that highlight the ways in which geometric motifs interact with the perception accorded to bipedal locomotion. Thus, when we encounter his pieces, we often find ourselves implicated as a viewer in the process of choosing, selecting, and even motivating the sense of visual activity Burkam's projects engender, not to mention finding ourselves as a subject of address concerning the questions that emerge from an aesthetics of the encounter.
The is evidenced in Burkam’s latest series of works, where each a title is a reference to the many places that the pieces have traveled in the past as well as where they currently reside, adding yet another dimension to how we think about triangulating space and place as corporeal beings, consumers of experience, and inhabitants of the world. These kinds of critical interventions mark Burkam’s oeuvre as being at the very forefront of discussions about art and the superimposition of perceptual, political and personal modes of engaging with the “New Geometricism” as a verb rather than a stable entity.
Bio: Rowan Burkam was born in Peterborough New Hampshire and raised in the United Kingdom where he earned an art “A” level certificate from the Reigate School of Art. In 2000 he apprenticed with the Native American artist and sculptor Cloud Eagle at his studio in Nambe, NM, exposing himself to indigenous art and beliefs. After moving to Los Angeles in 2001 to study 3D animation, he landed a job with for the art director Keith Greco, helping produce exclusive events and parties. Between 2008-2010 he worked for the fashion and furniture designer Rick Owens at his atelier in Paris where he gained insight and experience from the world of high art, fashion and design. After returning to the states in 2011 he shot and produced a documentary in Guatemala and two independent films, Archangel and Nebuchadnezzar, based in Los Angles and Switzerland. His art was also included in a group show at the Here is Elsewhere Gallery in Los Angeles in 2012. In 2013 he began working toward a BFA in Intermedia at Arizona State University and got hired as an art handler at the ASU art museum. During this time, he has continued to work with film and video, focusing on artist profiles and discussing artists identities in relation to the development of their work. He graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University in May 2016.