Artist/musician Jeremy Boyle received his BFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and MFA from The Ohio State University. He is a founding and current member of the Chicago group Joan of Arc who recently toured Europe, Japan and the US in support of “He’s Got the Whole This Land is Your Land in His Hands”, their new record on Joyful Noise Recordings. He has exhibited artwork, most of which is sound and technology based, in major cities across the U.S, including Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, Miami, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and has a forthcoming exhibition with collaborator Mark Franchino at Hallwalls in Buffalo NY. He is currently faculty in the studio arts department at University of Pittsburgh.
Unbordered, oak table legs(2017).
I wanted to approach work for this show that explored formal structures of play and game, but in a way that would emphasize open-ended, non-competitive and undefined qualities. I liked the idea of taking a known form (the puzzle), reducing the number of variables, and thereby opening the possibility for nearly limitless configurations.
I designed a simple interlocking puzzle piece where the positive tab protrusion on one side was matched with its mirror tab on the opposite side. The adjacent sides were designed with the corresponding blank cut to receive the matching protruding tab. The idea was to cut two versions of this identically shaped puzzle piece, half of them going horizontal with the grain of the wood and the other half oriented vertical, against the grain of the wood. This allowed for the grain of the wood to remain consistent, in one direction, as the pieces are assembled in this perpendicular fashion, alternating between the two orientations.
School table legs were first sawn into thin strips, planed and sanded, and then the pieces were cut from these thin sheets of wood. Some pieces were cut from the outside surface of the legs, so they maintain the finish and patina of years of use, interspersed with the majority of pieces cut from the interiors of the legs.
This puzzle is not about finding the piece with its unique matching fit to complete a pre-designed image. Instead, each piece can fit together as their shape is not what is unique. There are no border pieces, implying the puzzle could continue to grow in any direction, to any size, limited only by the space that contains it.