Austin Wieland
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Austin Wieland

Austin Wieland was born and raised in Bryan, Ohio. He received his BFA from Miami University (OH) in 2011 with a studio concentration in ceramics and a minor in arts management. Currently, he is a second year graduate student in ceramics at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. His industrial sculpture questions the necessity of technological advancement through the incorporation of cartoon aesthetics and kinetic components.


My ceramic sculpture derives from my fascination with industry and the production of inexpensive luxuries. While working in a candy factory, the realization of technology as a surrogate for the industrial worker became apparent. Often, the machinery and technology was ridiculously complex to accomplish something incredibly simple. This manifestation influenced me to recognize and embrace the ridiculousness of using clay as a medium to create kinetic sculpture.

Through the incorporation of simple mechanics, pneumatics, and electronics, I am exploring industrial ideas on efficiency and production. This is executed by operating balloons, pinwheels, and other mass-produced products. Each machine is powered by the viewer’s hand or electricity through motion sensors to repeatedly complete simple tasks. Humor is incorporated through the use of cartoon aesthetics and simple function of each piece. The use of bright colors as surface treatments and on various moving components mocks industrial progress by striking a balance between playfulness and machinery. Ultimately, the question I intend viewers ask is “what do machines accomplish?”