Eric Troffkin works in Detroit and joined the faculty of the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History at Wayne State University in Fall 2009 where he teaches sculpture. He received his MFA degree in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BA degree in Fine Art and English Literature from Amherst College. Eric’s previous teaching appointments include being Lecturer in Sculpture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 2000-02, and Visiting Assistant Professor at Washington University in St. Louis from 2002-09. At Washington University Eric served terms as Sculpture Area Coordinator and Director of Graduate Studies. As Director of Graduate Studies, he oversaw a transition in the MFA curriculum to a multidisciplinary format, to encourage artistic dialogue and collaboration across media and fields of inquiry.
I begin my artwork in the studio through the design and production of sets of interlocking modular parts and multiples. In the studio my concern is for the physical functionality of my objects. Beyond the studio my deeper goal is the discovery of unexpected possibility in assembly and combination – how will my objects combine and “grow” on site? Through my objects and creative process I draw a connection between wildness and our own creative/productive industriousness, asking: do our activities follow natural patterns? or themselves exhibit forms of wildness?
I belong to an artistic tradition of object-makers. I also think of my labor in the studio as a performance of contemporary material production. Appearing as if manufactured, my objects masquerade among, and refer to, the real/conventional things around us. I use the design language and materials of commercial/industrial products, and their manufacturing processes and assembly strategies, to produce art objects and installations that can also be considered part of the prosaic, human material world. Unlike much artwork, which is held apart from this world, my objects achieve meaning through inclusion in it.