Matt Shlian is aMichigan-based artist whodescribes himself as a paper engineer; he uses his engineering skills to create kinetic sculpture from paper.
I cannot explain how I make my sculptures in a general sense- each one is different. I don’t share my diagrams or cut patterns.I learned by taking things apart, doing things the “wrong way” and being curious.Getting something wrong is way more important to learning than copying something perfectly.
My process is extremely varied from piece to piece. Often I start without a clear goal in mind, working within a series of limitations. For example on one piece I’ll only use curved folds, or make my lines this length or that angle etc. Other times I begin with an idea for movement and try to achieve that shape or form somehow. Along the way something usually goes wrong and a mistake becomes more interesting than the original idea and I work with that instead. I’d say mystarting point is curiosity; I have to make the work in order to understand it. If I can completely visualize my final result I have no reason to make it- I need to be surprised.
"I am a millennial. Generation Y; born between the birth of AIDS and 9/11, give or take. They call us the global generation. We are known for our entitlement and narcissism. Some say it’s because we’re the first generation where every kid gets a trophy just for showing up. Others think it’s because social media allows us to post when we fart or have a sandwich for all the world to see. But it seems our one defining trait is a numbness to the world. An indifference to suffering.
I know I did anything I could to not feel; sex, drugs, booze. Just take away the pain. Take away my mother and my asshole father and the press and all the boys I loved who wouldn’t love me back. Hell, I was gang raped and two days later I was back in class like nothing had ever happened. I mean, that must have hurt like hell, right? Most people never get over stuff like that and I was like, “Let’s go get Jamba juice!”
I would give everything I have or will ever have just to feel pain again; to hurt. Thank God for Fiona and her herb garden. One advantage of being kind of dead is that you don’t have to sweat warning labels. There was this one brown liquid that I thought made my nipples tingle for a second but I think it was psychosematic because I polished off the rest of it and didn’t feel shit. I tried every eye of nute and wing of fly until I found something that made me not look like Marilyn Manson anymore.
And that’s the rub of all this, isn’t it? I can’t feel shit. I can’t feel anything. We think that pain is the worst feeling. It isn’t. How could anything be worse than this eternal silence inside of me.
I use to not eat for days or eat like crazy then stick my fingers down my throat. Now no matter how much I binge I can’t fill this hole inside me.
I can’t take it anymore. I think I’m going batshit. I need to do something.”
Emma Roberts’ monologue as Madison Montgomery in American Horror Story: Coven (Episode: The Dead)
So deep and epic. Probably my favorite words AHS has every put together. It has irony, sadness, self reflection, and just I would like to say “wake up call to Generation Y.”