51: Chris Todd

Categories: 100 Creatives





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Courtesy of Chris Todd
51: Chris Todd

Chris Todd is a transplant from the Pacific Northwest and a self-described multi-disciplinary artist; he's currently a professor of Media Arts at Mesa Community College.


"Ranging from darkly humorous to contemplative, my art draws from personal experiences and an interest in how technology, consumerism, and media affect perception, body, and place," he writes, "...and examines the psychological and spiritual impact of living in a culture where first-hand experience and human contact have become increasingly mediated and simulated."


(Learn more about Todd after the jump ...)

List five things (real or imagined) on your Inspiration Wall.
1. Omega Vector
2. The Scopitone
3. Zach Lieberman
4. Los Suns
5. La Condesa

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Chris Todd

What's your last big project?

I made an interactive video installation called "Dead Reckoning" for the Phoenix Fringe Festival in conjunction with a local media arts organization called UrbanStew. My statement from the project reads:

Dead reckoning is an outmoded marine navigation system in which new directions are calculated from previous positions. One of the problems with this form of way-finding is that errors in the process build on one another, often leading to drastic disorientation.

This interactive video installation employs the strategy of dead reckoning to explore the current state of the fictional pirate Long John Silver, who has transmogrified over the past 100 years from an iconic rogue into the largest fast food seafood chain in the world. Landlubbers are dared to steer the plastic captain's wheel and get lost in an apocalyptically banal sea of over 100 videos indebted to the fabled seamanstaurant.

What's your next big project?
I'm working on a project for an upcoming show at the ASU Art Museum involving local businesses in Tempe. I'm building a voice activated video jukebox that plays a range of ditties by a washed up lounge singer named Joe Arpaio.

Why do you do what you do?
As an artist: Sometimes I make art because I have a compulsive personality and I like tinkering with tough, self-inflicted problems. Sometimes I may want to try to communicate or make a point or put something unexpected out in the world that might provoke curiosity, dialog or simply make people react or feel something. Other times I sense that the whole endeavor is pointless and that I should really just give up and try to become a chef or go back to playing music.

As a teacher: I teach because I love living in a world of ideas, possibilities, and fluidity. It's an amazing privilege to be able share knowledge and inspiration with other people on a daily basis.

What do you want Phoenix to know about you?
I'm having a lot of trouble boycotting Arizona.

And, if you're game, what's something you really don't want Phoenix to know about you?
I watch "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist" religiously.

The Creatives, so far:

100. Fausto Fernandez
99. Brian Boner
98. Carol Panaro-Smith
97. Jane Reddin
96. Adam Dumper
95. Mayme Kratz
94. Daniel Tantalean
93. Yuri Artibise
92. Lisa Starry
91. Paul Hoeprich
90. Betsy Schneider
89. Mary Shindell
88: Gabriel Utasi
87: Tiffany Egbert
86. Angela Cazel Jahn
85. Dayvid LeMmon
84. Beatrice Moore
83. Michelle J. Martinez
82. Carrie Bloomston
81. Paul Porter
80. Rachel Bess
79. Karolina Sussland
78. Aaron Abbott
77. Mary Lucking
76. Erin Sotak
75. Greg Esser
74. Matthew Mosher
73. Mark Klett
72. Tony Carrillo
71. Paul Morris
70. Joe Pagac
69. Alison King
68. JJ Horner
67. Kim Porter
66. Marco Rosichelli
65. Heather Hales
64. Amy Lamp
63. Kevin Vaughan-Brubaker
62. Lindy Drew

61. Robbie Pfeffer
60. Neil Borowicz

59. Lynn Fisher

58. Tanner Woodford

57. David Tinapple
56. Casebeer

55. Tom Leveen

54. Patti Parsons

53. Tedd McDonah

52. Mike Maas



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