Erica Meier is a Wisconsin based Artist living near Milwaukee Wisconsin. She received her Bachelors of Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater in 2009, and received her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, in 2013. Meier is currently the resident designer and Metalsmith at Waterford Precision Cycles developing and building internationally renowned bicycle frames. She exhibits her work nationally and internationally and has taught at such universities as UW–Madison and UW–Parkside and will be the lecturer at UW–Whitewater in Fall 2016.
Objects and skills come to define individuals as they acquire them; they become the equipment of the individual. Working in the manufacturing industry has driven me to examine the skills and things that we value and collect and compare them to the mundane skills and objects we over look. My daily life is consumed with mechanisms, ornament, and empathy. The vernacular of function and adaptation is a catalyst for this work. The complexities of ability and disability along with my arsenal of trade and craft skills, and the nuances of material culture perpetuate my work.
In my most recent work I use simple mechanisms, such as a pulley and tensioner, to illustrate relationships within a society and how we disseminate knowledge or skill. The pieces celebrate the subtleties of a complex mechanism that is used in your average vehicle on the road- a pulley and tensioner- and simplify it as a concise description of reliance and dependence inside a community.
I use these mechanisms as absolute metaphor in my understanding of skill acquisition in our society. The piece, Slack, hangs from large pulleys on the wall and sags down to the floor, it allows one to question its function and purpose- an awkward potential of interaction is invoked. It can maintain expectations of the viewer and tap into their memory of functional things or rely the knowledge of another.