Danny Saathoff

In an age of cell phones, instant messages, sports scores and election results scrolling across the increasingly wide screens of our lives, my art begs its viewers to slow down.  Slow to a crawl.  Interact with and witness change.  Understand the slowness of change.  Do not let the piece be another streak of light and color and shape in the list of images of your day. It will take a moment—or two…or three—to take it in.

Capturing the steady changes of time, even in a mechanized piece, is difficult, but it is central to my philosophy as an artist. Beautiful things, for me, come about slowly. Making my art includes the process of selecting individual components from what many consider junk. Separating and re-combining the components with other pieces strips the artifact of inherent prejudice.  The new work becomes purely about itself.
In my process, I consider the history and meaning of each part, first understanding each component in its expected place and function in the world.  Then I try to step away from preconceptions in order to imagine and explore other possibilities.

I hope the process and philosophy allows viewers to let their own history, perceptions—and even baggage—affect the way they experience the work. The result is a unified whole of individual elements that were never intended to work together.  This, for me, is stopping time; it is reconsidering the identity of each individual part and reconnecting it with others. My art rejects that notion of speed that seems to drive our lives. The finished piece imitates the way it was created, its thoughts and ideas parsed out through hours of assembly. I do not always know the core meaning of the piece until I spend considerable time with it, in a sort of hesitant conversation.

I hope that you will take a moment—or two…or three.  See what happens.