Mark Edwards

Pop Jones is the home to my creative work. I am an artist working in a variety of functional and non-functional forms. My functional work includes lamps, screens, and shelving. My non-functional pieces include sculpture, filmmaking, drawing, and painting.

Recently I have been building robot prototypes for an opera I am writing: Olo. Robots who sing, robots who perform ballet.

Artist Statement

I work primarily as a sculptor in metal, wood, paper, and electronics (controlling light and sound). I am currently finding ways to jam my rustic, found-materials into my formal, geometric work. Not just aging or patinating the formal stuff, but plugging dysfunctional, broken, scrap into those polished objects.

Thus my incredible interest in robots as art. Lying, crippled robots. Robots who you can't trust. Dancing robots with bad knees and a drinking problem. What’s the difference between a robot character and a liar? We all love Bowie, but we wouldn't let him babysit for us.

I'm currently working on a large project which will include robots and/or electronics. Hellbendr, a folk opera, is about extreme flooding and mudslides and the impact downstream. Opera brings together my love of performance, music and dance, and sculpture in the form of sets, props, and installation.

In 1940 the grand mountains behind Boone, NC were foolishly clearcut, resulting in twelve feet of mud in the streets. My characters include a Woodsman and a Hellbendr. On the ceiling of the theater, projections from underwater. The sound environment is a blend of bluegrass/traditional and minimalist pointillism like the pulse of Steve Reich or Philip Glass, from the walls, the chop chop chopping of trees, the flow of water water water music; dancers on stage mountain clogging, sinuous ballet, and medicine stick ritual. The opera embraces a sophisticated South. What does Nature have to say about all this? Maybe nothing, maybe it's ineffable.