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Thursday, 30 May, 2002, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Turner profile: Keith Tyson
Keith Tyson's A Tiny Bubble of Complexity
Keith Tyson's A Tiny Bubble of Complexity
Keith Tyson was born in Ulverston, Cumbria. He studied fine art at Carlisle College of Art from 1989-90, after completing a course in mechanical engineering craft studies.

He completed an MA in alternative practice at the University of Brighton in 1993, and his first solo exhibition, From The Artmachine, was at the Anthony Reynolds Gallery in 1995.

Since then he has exhibited across Europe and North America, most recently at the Kunstahlle Zurich in Switzerland.

Keith Tyson
Tyson is fascinated by science
He has also been part of numerous group exhibitions since 1993, including the award-winning Pandemonium show at the ICA in 1996. This year he was one of four artists representing the UK at the Sao Paulo Bienal.

Tyson's art is influenced by his pursuit of knowledge, and his fascination with scientific concepts and philosophical theories as a means of exploring the universe.

This leads to complex and engaging studio drawings, as well as unusual games, objects or machines which comment on human existence while demonstrating the artist's sense of playfulness.

He says he uses his work to "locate myself, to find out where I am".

Installation at Venice Biennale 2001
Tyson's Venice Biennale installation
One example is his Artmachine, which dates back to 1991. It uses a methodology into which raw data is fed, and from which completely unpredictable, random artistic proposals are generated - as an attempt to try and eliminate all sense of autobiography from his work.

One result was AMCHII The KFC Notebooks and the UCT from 1988 - which led him to cast the entire contents of the fast-food chain's menu in lead.

The 33-year-old, who lives and works in London, has recently started an ambitious series of works under the banner Seventh Wonders Of The World.

His installation Drawing and Thinking - at the 2001 Venice Biennale - featured his sculpture The Thinker (After Rodin). A hexagonal structure, The Thinker emits an electronic hum generated by a bank of computers inside.

Other works in the series include A Tiny Bubble Of Complexity, a huge glass sphere with a heat sensitive surface which gradually changes colour as it reacts to heating and cooling elements inside.

Field Of Heaven London Shot Magnet is a motorised structure with rotating arms to which pieces of planet and meteorites are fixed, tracing imaginary orbits around each other.

A Tiny Bubble of Complexity 2001
Mixed media
Courtesy: Anthony Reynolds Gallery

Installation at Venice Biennale 2001
Mixed media
Courtesy Anthony Reynolds Gallery

Keith Tyson portrait: Andy Fallon


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