Preston Drum, was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He earned a BFA from Memphis College of Art in 2006 and an MFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2016. Though his past work was focused on producing mixed media paintings, he has recently turned towards building interactive installations and moving image work that explore notions of memory and performance through non-linear storytelling. Drum’s installations and performances are often site-specific and collaborative in nature, framing the audience as a participant in the art. Drum’s work has been exhibited throughout the Midwest and Southern United States at venues such as Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, The Minneapolis Institute of Art and The Walker Art Center. He currently works as an educator and studio artist in Minneapolis.
Though trained as a painter, I have in the past two years turned toward a practice of building interactive sculptural installations using cardboard, wood, and other recycled materials. These installations which employ the use of soundscapes and video elements are pseudo-stages where the viewer becomes a part of a performance. There is no script for these plays, the work is driven by a contract between artist and participant to bring equal parts. This collaboration with the viewer is prefaced by the making of the work. I typically develop the concept behind the pieces in solo but often work with a team of collaborators to help design and build the multi-facetted projects. My goal is not to dictate a meaning to the viewer but to provide raw material for the viewer to construct their own. This interaction provokes questions regarding how we define the author, the reader and the power dynamics between the two roles. We all love stories, but we must be mindful of the context in which the story is being told and heard. As our society transitions into one dominated by abstractions through technology stories begin to blur with reality. This state has me asking the questions: what is real and what is true? While I seek to understand the world through the making of my work, my only request of the viewer is that they use my installations as an opportunity to question their own presence in this world.