Kyle Williams

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Artist Statement

There is a specific kind of presence that I experience only with objects on screen. Objects that have a strangeness or an uncanny quality. One can point to it in the films of Buster Keaton or Jacques Tati where objects and bodies are nudged out of the logic of the world. They behave like something slightly different from themselves in a way that is both miraculous and utterly deadpan, and they speak to an ineffable relationship people have to the things around them.

My work is a series of experiments about objects and screen presence. It is a wide-ranging practice that includes collecting and building props, constructing optical devices and mechanical apparatuses, making drawings, and shooting video. It’s embedded in the history of painting, cinema, and our most contemporary image-making technologies. The results of these experiments range from elaborate investigations of optical media and elegant, deadpan constructions, to hamfisted iPhone videos and charcoal drawings of still lifes.

In my recent work, a structural exploration of screen technology – of the cameras, projectors, interfaces and algorithms – has provided a framework for questions about how images are made, the objects that make them, and the possibilities of an object transformed to image. I want the work to complicate the proximity of virtual and physical objects, of screen time and real time, and also of language and presence. My pacing is slow, my humor flat, and my scenes unpopulated. Ultimately, I would like the work to give viewers time with objects that have been nudged out of their place in the world, as a kind of cinematic reimaging of the distance that exists between us and our things.




Yale University School of Art, M.F.A.
Stanford University, B.A.
Major: Art History, Minor: Art


Video Mixer, Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT Surface Support, Signal, New York, NY
Realities in Contemporary Video Art, Foundation des Etats-Unis, Paris, France
PaMUR, Tirana Open 1, Tirana, Albania
Writing, T293, Naples, Italy
Yale Painting MFA Thesis Show, Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT
Video Snack 4: VS, Regina Rex, New York, NY
Lux: Ideas Through Light, Beinecke Rare Books Library, New Haven, CT
MFA 2015, Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT
Shadowshop, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA (project curated by Juan Luna-Avin)
Desastre, Mohr Gallery, Mountain View, CA
Holiday Land, Blankspace Gallery, Oakland, CA
666, Blankspace Gallery, Oakland, CA
Better Than Real, MixedUse, San Francisco, CA
Fog Food, de Young Museum Off-Site Project Center, San Francisco, CA


Visiting Artist Lecturer, The Wassaic Project
Ralph Mayer Prize in Techniques and Materials, Yale School of Art 2012 Gullkistan Residency, Laugarvatn, Iceland
Arthur Giese Memorial Award in Painting, Stanford University


Adjunct Faculty, Video Art, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA 2015 Instructor, Painting, New York Art Studio, New York, NY
Teaching Assistant, Foundations, Digital Animation Yale University, New Haven, CT 2005-13 Instructor, Painting, Drawing, Community School of Music and Art, Mountain View, CA