Kelly Lynn Jones is an artist and curator based in Oakland, CA. She is the creator of Little Paper Planes, whose mission is to provide the connections, engagement and momentum of collecting art ephemera in all areas. Also, her work has been featured on Make Space. Learn more about her art practice!
On process and collecting:
So much of my practice is about the connections we create on the internet and how we interact with objects on this ephemeral platform. Collecting and cataloging images online is a crucial aspect to my practice. I am interested in how the internet evolves especially into this never ending space for material consumption. It is nearly impossible to avoid an advertisement, a store, a blog or the newest social media site trying to sell you something whether its from the mass market or handmade. I am no different from the rest of the online world, I am not only one who watches, but also takes part in, especially since I own an arts organization/store, Little Paper Planes. I am interested in how we use social media (FB, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest) as a way to construct our strategic identity and “liking” and “reposting” products is just one way we create who we may want to be or how they act as these markers for who a person is.
My work develops into collections of objects I create from a visual inventory I catalog online. These are objects of my own personal desire constructed into a “lifestyle” store type of setting. I have no physical connection with the original object, only as a small 72dpi two-dimensional image. I am interested in how social media perpetuates these desires of constant consumption. Our private space has become small or almost entirely gone with our screens that have access to everything and anything 24/7. There is this need to be online all the time or there is fear of missing out on something; anything. I also feel torn since I too push products onto people through my business, so I am constantly switching back and forth, critically looking at my role as I am an active participant.
Once making these objects, there is this satisfaction of owning this object I originally wanted, but it becomes more special to me as I translate it into something entirely new though letting it still reference its original starting point but carrying a new aura. I also like to visit people’s homes and see what people collect. I take a lot of photographs, documenting these objects we decorate our spaces with. I am fascinated with how we collect and how these collections create a certain identity of “who we are”. This is one perception and is a judgement on face value, however some truth or insight of who an individual is, does lie within the objects that they own. We create relationships with the things we buy, receive from another or make. Re-making these objects for me, extends a connection with the objects, the place and the people even if it is indirectly.
I am the kind of person who is a serious multi-tasker. I am always working on at least 5 projects at a time, whether they are part of my personal art practice, collaborative or curatorial. I feel that all of my work is somehow contingent on one another, so even if a project seems to be specific to a space, it usually stemmed from whatever I was working or researching last. Everything is part of a whole and I view all aspects of my life as important segments that in the end always inform my practice.
On materials and medium:
Prior to attending grad school in 2008, I was a painter. I only painted. A huge reason why I wanted to go back to school was to put me in a situation where I didn’t feel comfortable; where I was unsure. I wanted that lack of confidence to create a space where I had to try new things, which is exactly what I did. (Of course there were some dark moments where I doubted everything and am still trying to get my feet back on the ground since school) I feel like I still approach work with a painters’ sensibility. My main materials are paper, cardboard, paint, plaster, wood, but I really am open to a variety of mediums. I prefer to use and re-use pieces already in my studio. I like the idea of creating new moments on a material over and over again.
I see a lot of art all the time, that is all I do: Look at art. It is never a specific kind of work or a specific artist, but just making and creating art as a whole. I am always inspired by individuals who follow their passions whole heartedly: jumping into the ocean blindly.
On space and site:
I often have been told I make work like someone who lives in California. I never quite understand what that exactly entails, but I will just go with it. I grew up in California so there has to be an influence. I was raised right outside of Los Angeles in a wealthy neighborhood, though my family was blue collar so I never quite fit in. I think my obsessions with objects and things began growing up prior to the internet. Being around people that have everything they could want and things they could never imagine they wanted was hard to be around, especially when you don’t get to have the things they have. Though in the end, it has proven to be good research for how I navigate my current art practice and assists me on investigating further into my relationship with objects and where I grew up.
Space is everything to me. Work space + head space. I always need to have a large working area to experiment, make mistakes and failures, and hopefully discover something special. Though next to this flex space of constant change, I need to have a desk with nothing on it. I always need my desk to be clear prior to starting something new. Of course throughout the course of making, the desk becomes cluttered, creating havoc in my brain. As long as my desk remains organized in the beginning of something new I feel I can begin to work. There is some psychological connection for me: clean desk = clear headed.