My favorite working artist right now is Michael Oatman (who ironically lives and works in Troy NY, where I lived for many years and still own a house). There are pieces that he has created that make me absolutely giddy with joy. He captures something that I have tried to create with a couple of my books, where you enter into an imaginary world in which you are unsure of what is real (the book I am currently working on also falls into this category). Then you realize that you want to exist in that world where anything can happen. It’s as if a Terry Gilliam film came to life and you are walking around in it able to interact with everything. He has a new installation at the Mass Moca which I cannot wait to see. All Utopias Fell is a three-part, multimedia installation. It’s also a 1970s-era DIY satellite concocted from a vintage Airstream that just happens to have crash-landed in North Adams, Mass.
“My installations are sort of novels by a non-writer,” says Oatman. “They are stories that I want to write, but I realize that I’m not a good writer. So I use art to create a scene where you can go to the place physically where I report that things happen, but it’s up to you to put the story in its order, and there is no specific order.”