Dustin Steuck is a performance-based video installation artist currently living and working in Minneapolis, MN. Steuck received a double Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in sculpture and drawing at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, 2017. Recent accomplishmens include, selection as a semi-finalist for the Manifest Gallery’s One 8, The 8th Annual Manifest Prize, honorable mention in the International Sculpture Center’s 2017 Outstanding Student Achievement Award program, and awarded a Student Research Grant funded by the University of Wisconsin-Stout, 2017. Steuck has exhibited his work locally at the Soo Visual Arts Center and Regis Center for Art at the University of Minnesota, and nationally at the Bradbury Art Museum in Jonesboro, AR.
With large-scale video installations, Steuck creates immersive spaces for viewers to explore. Through physical space on a grand scale, video satisfies his conceptual concerns while the projector fulfills his spatial objectives. Material associations through sculpture have provided Steuck access to confront personal narratives within his queer identity. Whether the outcome of a piece is physical, performance-based video, or 2-dimensional, his work is based on the need to document.
Reflective materials such as mylar, chameleon skin, or glitter are physical filters used to distort moving image. Combining relatively new digital media work, such as video, with flashy materials his installations confront space and dimensions of one's perceived reality. Parallels between popular culture and art history are integrated through iconography. Examining the current persona present in social media, his work contrasts the authority of the past with the fleeting satisfaction of the new. In a fast-paced and overcrowded platform, "likes" and "followers" function as a form of social currency. Finding value in the mainstream of popular culture, Steuck's installations recontextualize perceptions of narcissism and queer identity.
My work explores themes of queer identity while engaging the function of social media platforms, and personas fabricated through digital realities. Rendering immersive environments is essential, as I seek to emulate the digital realms one operates within daily, i.e. Instagram, Snapchat, Reality TV, etc. Whether the outcome of a piece is physical, performance/video, or 2-dimensional, my work is based on the need to document. Through physical space on a grand scale, video satisfies my conceptual concerns, while the projector fulfills my spatial objectives. Material associations through sculpture have provided access to communicate personal narratives, while performance and video allow authentic interactions between subject and viewer. Influenced by queer and mass media imagery, my work recontextualizes perceptions of narcissism and queer identity through iconography.
Currently, I am expanding upon narratives within constructed identities integrating queer utopic theory, influenced by digital platforms and historical imagery. Utopia is a critique of the here and now, a potentiality in a horizon of possibility. José Esteban Munoz reflects on this topic in his book, The SAGE Handbook of Performance Studies, in a chapter examining Kevin McCarty’s photographs of empty stages. He states, “At this moment it seems that queer culture needs to nourish our sense of potentiality and not reinforce our feeling of disappointment. If we are to go on, we need a critical modality of hope and not simply dramatization of loss and despair.” With a political regime concentrated on highlighting societal differences, it is my intent to restore focus on the queer body, the spaces it has occupied throughout history, and the effects of how it is interpreted through digital realms today.