Brad McCombs

Inside Artists' Heads

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Brad McCombs

Brad McCombs

Brad McCombs uses media as diverse as robotics, video and straw bale architecture to explore human interaction with technology and the environment and to provide catalysts for action and change. See his work from Jan. 17 to Feb. 8 at Northern Kentucky University, where he's assistant professor of visual art and media informatics. Here's what inspires McCombs.

The Organic Universe. I look to the natural landscape and its diverse biological life, from the remote Galapagos Islands, the Great Barrier Reef and the Rocky Mountains to Mars' Meridiani Planum craters — even my own backyard.

People. I'm interested in how humans create belief and systems of organization, from cultures such as the Nacirema and Papua New Guinea to individuals such as Rachel Carson, Octavia Butler, Le Corbusier, Bono, Jimmy Carter, Anselm Kiefer, my family, friends and students.

Deep Ecology. This philosophy on how we fit into the system and cycles of the natural world intrinsically values non-human life and integrates the role of humans in relation to the ecosphere.

Technology and Innovation. Humans have created wondrous structures, ideologies, systems and tools. From architecture like Machu Picchu, the Pyramids of Giza and the Guggenheim in Bilbao to the printing press, the flush toilet and the Internet, the ability to innovate is what makes us human.

The Creative Process. I'm inspired by research, design, building and problem solving and the artist's cultural role to realize his or her ideas. Technology such as the iPod and hybrid vehicles exemplify good designs that have led to intuitive technology.

ARTICULATIONS offers five things that are important to a Greater Cincinnati visual artist.

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