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Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Tobias Fike

Tobias Fike, "Cloud Bike," single-channel video, 2013.
Tobias Fike, "Cloud Bike," single-channel video, 2013.

#82: Tobias Fike

Nebraska native Tobias Fike, now working in Colorado after earning his MFA at the University of Colorado Boulder, isn't tied down by a particular medium or discipline -- or even a particular place. Instead, he manipulates concepts, makes sculpture and video, launches performances, collaborates and, with the Flinching Eye Collective, creates soundscapes, here and abroad. But all of his work revolves around a personal and human core; like a boy with a box of conceptual LEGOs, he expresses the essential using the tools at hand. Fike's 100CC questionnaire follows.

See also: Another 100 Colorado Creatives: Andy Berg

Tobias Fike, "I Can't Touch The Moon But I Can Feel Its Effect," performance, 2011.
Tobias Fike, "I Can't Touch The Moon But I Can Feel Its Effect," performance, 2011.

If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?   Albert Einstein. His contributions to science in respect to space and time fit in well with many themes that show up in my work. While it would be great to create a whole body of work with him, I would be happy just doing a performance where we stared at each other for 24 hours and each watched the other one age.   Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?   Not so much a "who," but rather a group. I'm interested in comedians right now. I think what they do is very similar to what I'm trying to do with my art. There is, of course, the performance aspect that I use at times, and they typically offer a combination of tragedy and humor, with a focus on everyday events. Think of Louis C.K.

Continue reading for more from Tobias Fike.

 

Tobias Fike, "Beach Ball Collision Test", collaborative performance with Matthew Harris, 2013
Tobias Fike, "Beach Ball Collision Test", collaborative performance with Matthew Harris, 2013

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

There are so many trends out there, and I enjoy most of them. But in all areas there is just bad art. I wish that would die out, but it probably won't.   What's your day job?   Like so many artists I know, I don't have just one "day job." I watch my daughter several days a week, a task that is, of course, a 24/7 job. I also freelance as a graphic designer, photographer and videographer. I teach adjunct at RMCAD whenever a position opens there. I also tend to do a number of odd jobs as they come up. Of course, being an artist is another 24/7 job. You can't turn it off. I'm always working on that. Car rides between errands or jobs are really productive brainstorming sessions.

Tobias Fike, "Swoon, neon," 36 x 18 inches, 2013.
Tobias Fike, "Swoon, neon," 36 x 18 inches, 2013.

A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?   I would keep doing what I do now, make art, but it would be nice for that to not cost me money. If it were truly unlimited, I would support many other artists, plus donate to every kind of charity you can imagine.   What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?   It always comes down to money, doesn't it? It would be nice to have more financial support for artists and a larger collector base in the area. Continue reading for more from Tobias Fike.

 

Tobias Fike, "Replicated Night Sky 1, July 5, 1975, Lincoln, NE," c-print, 2014.
Tobias Fike, "Replicated Night Sky 1, July 5, 1975, Lincoln, NE," c-print, 2014.

Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?

That is a difficult question to answer. I am very fortunate to know and work with many great people. Your support group is what it is all about. David B. Smith and Nicole Schwager at David B. Smith Gallery have been amazingly supportive. Alvin Gregorio has also been such a good supporter, as well as a great artist. And all my fellow artists at Tank Studios deserve recognition.   What's on your agenda in the coming year?

 I am performing with my collective, the Flinching Eye Collective, at Currents, an international new media arts festival, in Santa Fe on June 13. Our collective also received financial backing from the Idea Fund, supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation, to tour in Texas some time in October. We will be going to Houston, Austin and Dallas. And, hopefully, other exciting opportunities are out there that I don't know about at this time.   Who do you think will get noticed in the local art community in 2014?   More and more individuals seem to be getting noticed, and that is nice. An artist that I am fortunate enough to collaborate with, Matthew Harris, has been getting attention lately through some of his public works. I think people will be paying even more attention to him in the near future.

See work by Tobias Fike in the solo exhibit, Tobias Fike: Then and now and then, currently on view at David B. Smith Gallery through May 31. Learn more about the artist online.

Throughout the year, we'll be shining the spotlight on 100 superstars from Denver's rich creative community. Stay tuned to Show and Tell for more, or visit the 100 Colorado Creatives archive to catch up.

To keep up with the Froyd's eye view of arts and culture in Denver, "like" my fan page on Facebook.


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