Dakotah was born and raised in the pristine, sparsely populated town of Lander, Wyoming where mountains swallow rivers and the sun shines even when it’s 30 below. Prior to attending college, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and lived as far west as Anchorage, Alaska and as far east as Okinawa, Japan. While in the Air Force, Dakotah serviced radar jammers, antennae, hydraulic actuators, learned mechanical assemblage, and sat in the cockpit of F-15s. After this, he returned home and studied at the University of Wyoming where he earned a BFA in sculpture. Here, he created a fleet of drawing machines before deciding to pursue a master’s degree in fine art from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His thesis research led him to explore robotics, aquaponics, and an excess of convoluted systems. Currently, Dakotah teaches at Indiana University in Bloomington as a Visiting Assistant Professor.
My practice generally involves searching for coincidentally matching parts from disassembled objects. I accumulate and tinker with a multitude of objects until the parts begin to find their own structure. This process continues until a new function emerges. It is this newly derived purpose that I am most interested in. I find that this organization strategy mimics processes in the natural world. I often begin thinking of collected action/reaction events as individual organs belonging to a larger system at work. As a consumer of contemporary technology, I am charmed by its potentials yet remain skeptical of unintended widespread consequences. As an artist, I aim to create works that celebrate both positions regarding technology. I seek to create moments of contradiction and to ask questions about the balance of efficiencies within systems.