Amy Yoshitsu

I am a sculptor, designer, and socially engaged artist deconstructing the interconnections between power, economics, labor, and race to illuminate their foundational impact on personal schemas and interpersonal relationships.

Infrastructure—encompassing the act of supporting, the undergirding for creation, and the workforce maintaining our unsustainable global practices—informs the concepts, imagery and materials of my work. The objects I make embody that systemic forces, driven by the constellation of economic and emotional incentives in power structures, play greater than acknowledged roles in our individual material, cognitive and emotional conditions. The intersecting histories and consequences of omnipresent apparatuses—from taxation to electrical grids to the maintenance of racecraft (Fields and Fields)—are foundational to the tapestry of human existence. I employ sewing and textiles as methods and materials to interweave the effects that our entrenched systems have on the body, the delicate, the intimate. In the US especially, government, corporate and social norms are deeply influenced by technocracy, the interplay between private and public power and the cycles of consumption. To surface and visualize these complex layers, my creations amalgamate industrial and refuse materials and are built from layers of manual and digital approaches.  

Untitled (01/12 2021) and Untitled (03/12 2020) are part of series 20XX which highlight spaces as interlocutors to individual stories and representations of systemically-driven cycles and hierarchies. The 3D collages—built through sewing photographs I took in locations in which I lived and visited—visualize the variances in the materials, aesthetics and definitions of shelter; corrosion and states of disrepair; office buildings, factories and mom-and-pop storefronts as markers of personal means of survival and the shells of capitalism’s many engines/victims. I photograph these sculptures in (mostly) public locations in my hometown area, thus creating my own psychogeographic maps that synthesize and literally locate my privileges and concerns within our mazes of power structures. Room (Berkeley, CA) and We Made It (San Bernardino County, CA) are part of ‘Construct’, a series in which I digitally reinstall the sculptures of 20XX as large-scale interventions in infrastructural locations to convey our systems’ roles in scaled attempts towards control. 

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