Block title

Work Samples

a tower viewer

Mixed Media Interactive Sculpture, 2018

Fuzzy Dice

Mixed Media Sculpture, 2018

Boxer Two Drawn

88" x 24" Pen on Mylar

Desert Walk

Desert Walk . Performance Video


About Christopher

Baltimore City

Christopher Kojzar's picture
Christopher Kojzar received his B.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University and his M.F.A. in Intermedia and Digital Arts from the University of Maryland Baltimore County. A list of residencies includes the Creative Alliance in Baltimore, Crosstown Arts in Memphis, the Seventh Wave Residency in Rhinebeck, NY, and the Truth and Reconciliation Residency at Santa Fe Art Institute. Christopher researches and creates art in response to interactions he has with other people when he enters... more

Tower Viewer


I reimagine how to embody an archetype known as the flaneur, a mythic elitist who idly observed and recorded urban life in nineteenth century Paris. I present my art as a contemporary Black flaneur who documents shared spaces and challenges the right to observe and be idle in public. Baltimore, New York, Washington DC, and Honolulu are the areas documented.

The immersive video entitled “Wide Open Skies” is a performance video that plays within the tower viewer, allowing participants to look into the lens of my experience with mostly law enforcement and security officials. The performance happened over the course of fifteen minutes at the Oculus Hub in New York City. Five different security officials approached me.

I craft an interpretation of the artist’s role in an ethnographic manner, and unassumingly interrogate the many dimensions of the environments in which I work— probing, but treading lightly—using various forms of interviewing, drawing, filmmaking and photography. Social interactions define my practice. I point to the absurdity of what it means to see and be seen and show how others react to my body based upon my gender, race, and profession as an artist. My renegade methods (sketching in a notebook and/or recording with wearable technology) give me a baseline to investigate shared space, and my intention is to find places where I can stand in contrast to our fast-paced lifestyle and interrupt the movements of people within shared spaces by unobtrusively inserting my body. In light of implicit racial biases and the ‘see something, say something’ campaign’s outline of suspicious activity, I argue that we’ve given up our right to be passionate and willing observers.

What does this say about the relationship between artists and the societies in which we work and about how it has changed and why? Where once we might have been shocked and thoroughly offended at being tracked by large organizations and institutions, and we might have romanticized the artist out sketching, photographing, filming or painting his environment, the tables seem now be somehow turned. I am calling attention to the act of observation at a time when so many things truly need to be seen, and when people need to be listened to.

  • Christopher Kojzar

    Artist Talk at Santa Fe Art Institute
  • a tower viewer (front)

    Multimedia Interactive Sculpture 6' x 3' x 1'
  • Back

    In the winter of 2018, I went to the Oculus Hub in New York City to once again test my methods. I didn’t even have time to turn on my camera before law enforcement approached me. Most of the interactions were with black security guards, but the power dynamics still validated how misguided our trust is in each other. Even when it’s between black men, those in authority seek to suppress the observational gaze. In the span of fifteen minutes, six guards interrupted my attempt to idly stand and draw.
  • Wide Open Skies

    I create mixed media and immersive video art in response to interactions I experience while sharing open and public spaces with others. Urban settings inspire my art practice because there is always something happening. I have a growing catalog of work that comprises the following: drawings I have made while sitting in airports, train stations, casinos, places of business, public parks, and government buildings; live-action videos of walking and driving; and audio recordings and interviews with people I have encountered.
  • Interactions at the Oculus

    Even when I sit down and draw, even when I hold myself at a distance, more often than not, my sketchbook and my “look” (either my gaze or my physical presence) prompt interactions with security personnel, police officers, TSA agents, and pedestrians. All of these interactions lead me to believe that the right to observe freely is mired in what Mirzoeff calls “a policing of visuality,” and that the gaze is systematically obfuscated in this era of escalating surveillance and mistrust. The fifteen minute performance led to an interaction with six men, mostly security enforcement officials
  • Brett at the Oculus (photo credit: Joyce Chen)

    My work has inspired friends to take part in the role. There is no question that in today’s public centers, we’ve sacrificed certain ideals of pedestrian freedom. Communal trust is eroding amid sweeping revisions to security laws in urban environments. Even though these officers are rightfully doing a job to protect civilians, where do we draw a line? Loitering without explanation is also outlined by the Department of Homeland Security as an activity that the public should report for police investigation.

Fuzzy Dice

I printed transparent designs that relate to dandyism on the fuzzy dice, which also represent the walking body in shared spaces. Many of the techniques such as plasma cutting, laser cutting, fabrication, drawing, paint & fabric application, and video production are methods that I consider. Dandyism, labor, idleness, and male body continue as the dominant themes.

“The Aesthetics of Idleness” is the performance video that plays in the pips of the Fuzzy Dice. Viewers watch me take a 45 minute commute from a rich enclave in a Maryland suburb to the road known as The Highway to Nowhere in West Baltimore. It is a neighborhood that was partially razed to the ground for a construction of a highway that displaced hundreds of families. In the video I steer with my knees as I tie and untie a necktie with my hands.

Car culture is so deeply ingrained in the workday, wherein the middle and upper classes use the vehicle as a link to their identity and subsistence. My video performance in the exhibition that’s viewable on the screens imbedded in the pips of the fuzzy dice is a reenactment of the daily commuter who, by being in a car, has taken over the streets. As social theorist Kathrina Mandersheid has asserted, “the purpose of streets was redefined from a public place to which everybody had equal access to a means of transit privileging motorised vehicles over pedestrians.” From this privileged position, the driver expects to use the car as an exploration tool to navigate wide boulevards, scan a city and observe the roads.

  • Fuzzy Dice

    4' x 4' x 4' Fabric, LED lights, Transparent Prints, Performance Video embedded in 21 pips.
  • Fuzzy Dice

    Video Documentation
  • Car Video Excerpt

    To me, driving equates to long commutes, daily congestion, and vehicular crowds. It is not a space for flânerie, but rather a utilitarian and even dangerous method to navigate the world. I am constantly avoiding serious collisions, aggressive drivers, and large debris. I’ve dodged ladders falling off of cars in two separate incidents, witnessed the aftermath of the charred semi-trucks and swerved out of the way of careless motorists. When I consider the fuzzy dice, it’s more of a gag to say that driving is a gamble.
  • Im Holding Nothing

    As I turned the corner of the steps they yelled for me to present myself to the squadron with my hands above my head and show that I had no weapon. I hint at the anxiety produced when others mark my body as being a threat or suspicious. Right before I went to bed that night, I had turned off the television as a news anchorman updated the story of Stephen Clark. He was shot eight times in the back while holding his cell phone.
  • Botanizing the Asphalt

    Digital Transparent Print 24" x 24"

Drawing in Public

My interdisciplinary art practice evolved from drawings I made while sharing open and public spaces with others. When I drew in my sketchbook, I would often be approached by police, security officials, and passersby who felt the need to see what I was doing. After so many interactions, I felt compelled to document my observational habit so that I could better understand for myself why the docile act of drawing demanded so much attention. The quality of some images are less than ideal, but the need to take cellphone photographs discreetly and on the fly was a more important criterion.

The modus operandi of flânerie let me expose how the act of observation and idle behavior would be met with suspicion. I would go out in public, wear nice clothes, and don wearable technology such as body cameras and audio recording devices, directing friends to take photographs of me while I performed (read: while I drew). Almost always, the cameras were concealed or not in plain sight. In light of the #livingwhileblack hashtag, which is punctuated by implicit racial biases, and the “see something, say something”[1] campaign that has come to define our observational habits, I wanted to point to the absurdity of what it means to see and be seen, and exploit the role of the flâneur to clearly show how others would react to my body based upon my gender, race, and profession as an artist. My renegade methods (sketching in a notebook and/or recording with wearable technology) gave me a baseline to investigate urbanity, and my intention was to find spaces where I could stand in contrast to our fast-paced lifestyle and interrupt the movements of people within shared spaces by unobtrusively inserting my body.

[1] The slogan “see something, say something” was coined by chief executive Allen Kay of the Manhattan advertising agency Korey Kay & Partners one day after the Sept 11th 2001 terrorist attacks. The following is outlined as suspicious activity on the Department of Homeland Security’s website — “Observation/surveillance: Someone pays unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. This includes extended loitering without explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (e.g., with binoculars or video camera); taking notes or measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, etc.”

  • Interaction with Officer Weatherbee

    After so many interactions, I started to document my performance. . My exchange with the U.S. Capitol Police officer in the photograph above suggests that, especially in today’s environment, there are characteristics of being an observer on the streets that agitates authority. At the time, I had been sketching a man lounging on a bench for less than a minute before the officer came to my side. It is a fool’s errand for me to try to understand exactly and thoroughly why Officer Weatherbee approached me, even though I am inclined to say that he felt the need to assert power over my blackness.
  • HouseofRepresentatives.jpg

    I even went to the Rayburn office for the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington DC. Considering that it is open to the public, I went into offices to observe the work dynamic between men and women interns at their desks. More often than not, women were either partially blocked by their desks or in a smaller and more cramped location than their male counterparts.
  • Drawing in the streets

    Prior to the Civil War, and as recently as the scandal at Abu Ghraib, the right to look back at those who hold power has been imbued with racial, sexual, and economic hierarchy.
  • Greyhound Bus Station

    A simplified definition states that the flâneur can be equated to an idler or a lounger, but a deeper investigation provided me with a more structured code of conduct, one that resonated with my art practice. The flâneur’s actions are revealed in his idleness. He squints, spontaneously takes notes, collects and records urban images, and adjusts his attention to the social disruption and entertainment of his surroundings.
  • Horseshoe Casino

    Specific outlines on the Department of Homeland Security’s website insists that when someone sketches, observes, or pays “unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest,” then it should be reported. This need to investigate drawing interferes with what artists consider acute observation. Still, a larger theme looms over who gets to enforce the surveillance and what actions should be questioned as unusual, unprofessional, or incendiary.
  • Whole Foods in Santa Fe, New Mexico

    The performance lends itself to a much larger dialogue about the observational gaze and how surveillance can be traced to stereotypes or unremarkable behaviors in public and shared space. When I take on the act of drawing, it is to signal how idleness provokes an authoritative response. Of course, we are now so entrenched in a system of surveillance that those in authority will scrutinize any suspicious action from afar, resulting in the fact that very little is accepted as normal behavior.
  • First National Bank

    The performance was a statement about how my experience of seeing stands as an example of “sousveillance.” Sociologist Simone Browne describes sousveillance, a term originally coined by artist-scientist Steve Mann, as “a way of naming an active inversion of the power relations that surveillance entails.” For Mann, the phenomenon involves acts of “observation or recording by an entity not in a position of power or authority over the subject of the veillance.” [my italics] And “veillance,” as Browne points out, is “often done through the use of handheld or wearable cameras.”
  • Oculus

    In the winter of 2018, I went to the Oculus Hub in New York City to once again test my methods. I didn’t even have time to turn on my camera before law enforcement approached me. Most of the interactions were with black security guards, but the power dynamics still validated how misguided our trust is in each other. Even when it’s between black men, those in authority seek to suppress the observational gaze. In the span of fifteen minutes, six guards interrupted my attempt to idly stand and draw. “Sorry brother, you can’t do that here,” one guard said.
  • Drawingss on Flanerie

    Mixed Media Collage and Video. 155" x 44" In another respect, while in the privacy of my studio, I know I can draw well so the importance for me to qualify the drawings in the gallery as ‘good’, ‘bad’, ‘successful’, or ‘finished’ is not an intended purpose of the art. The drawings are an artifact or evidence to the interactions I seek out while I perform as a man who draws at leisure. What is more, the drawings are a signal to my own apprehension and that everything outside of their production is a distraction.
  • A Walk with Google

    I understand that when I sketch in public, I am inviting others to take notice. I am also giving up my own need for urgency. I slow down and notice of how others move around, and wonder how and when they are able to take a moment and absorb their own surroundings. I am aware that I may become the center of their circumstances, especially since they are at the center of mine.

Drawings and Mixed Media

This series is tangential to my self-portraiture work, as I now I intend to balance my public engagement with representational visual histories and narratives regarding the body and how it activates responses in shared urban spaces. The intent is to bring into question hyper-masculinity and the aggressive nature of the strong-man pose, while imagining a new form of vulnerability that we experience in public space. Landscape imagery and video may be incorporated with architectural motifs and references of suppression to contain portraiture that is direct, yet tinged with fetishism, historicity, and subversion as it relates to the acculturation of the North American body. Finished pieces would include and surpass the characteristics of craft and design for “fuzzy dice” and "a tower viewer".

On "Travel"

When I go on walk with the intent to create art, I photograph, record audio, and write so that I can document my surroundings. When I created “A Walk Alone”, I wanted to explore the idea of being alone in the city, a feeling of alienation that urban walkers know well. In Wanderlust, Rebecca Solnit writes very plainly that “there is a subtle state most dedicated urban walkers know, a sort of basking in solitude … It is an observer’s state, cool, withdrawn, with senses sharpened, a good state for anybody who needs to reflect or create.” (Wanderlust, 51) For me, the method of reflection lies within my ingenuity to be introspective amid urbanity. “A Walk Alone” is also a way for me to feel more comfortable with myself amid the surroundings. I don’t necessarily have any agenda in the video performance except to show the viewer that no one is in my vicinity. I think when we imagine cities, we think of crowds, and although I believe that Baltimore is a lively city, the population has declined to the point that some refer to the buildings as abandominiums. It’s hard to take into account the richness of some enclaves when there is such a stark and noticeable characteristic of desertion.

  • Desert Walk

    Desert Walk . Performance Video
  • A Walk with Magritte || Collabo with JM Johnston ||

    Short Film || 2015 || You ever speak stream of consciousness to think that you’re learning something about yourself when really you’re just keeping your mind off suicidal thoughts? Welcome to America. Welcome to America. Do you ever wish you were just a redneck? Welcome to America. Have you ever realized how much easier it is for a man to say ‘no’ to genius and how hard it must be for a woman to walk down an alley at night? You ever visit a department store just to cherish the moment? Welcome to America.

On "Working"

I crafted a version of flânerie by observing and documenting professionalism, labor, leisure, and idleness and by rooting these themes in my identity as an artist. The foundations of nineteenth-century flâneurism, which also conveniently slip in and out of work and non-work, or occupation and idleness, provided me with certain parameters to trigger an authoritative response in today’s hyper-surveilled society. My goal has been to resolve how the act of observation would be accepted or distorted; I discovered the most opportune answer within the idleness of the profession of flânerie. It’s been my intention to find spaces where I could discern a contradiction to our fast-paced lifestyle and to interrupt the movements of people within shared spaces by unobstrusively inserting my body. Whether I am the contemplative idler or cozy up to others who just happen to be standing idly, I want to discover contradictions in the bustling habits of the East Coast lifestyle.

  • Citizenship

    Over three hundred people representing fifty-five countries are waiting to be awarded their United States citizenship. I'm in Vienna, Virginia. My friend for sixteen years is orginally from South Korea. He came to this country when he was thirteen. Now after all that time, he will become a US citizen. He will have the right to vote in this country. This is one of the biggest days of his life.
  • Home Depot I

    These words “work” and “loiter” swirled around in my head after documenting the experiences of the men waiting for jobs outside Home Depot. By documenting their use of this public space, I could visually discern a momentary shift occurring in my thinking that confronted the theme of work and non-work, and of loitering and idleness.
  • Home Depot II

    This is the second time I’ve been in this room. I write my name on a clipboard in front of a woman who sits behind an archaic cash register. I drop the pen and slouch into one plastic subwayesque chair. I am aware that the seats smell like newlyweds, wannabe rappers, and Hispanics. A young child bats a weak balloon on his sister’s leg while his elbow jibs at my waist. “Quit touching that man!” his mother scolds, to which I reply, “It’s Alright,” knowing damn well that in any given context it is not alright. I wanna glare at his mom for reducing me to a “that man”.
  • The Corner Interviews (Excerpt)

    My interest lies not only in who these day workers are as human beings, but also in how their existence, which entails an urgent need for subsistence, ties in (or doesn’t tie in) with my research on flâneurism and my role as an artist. I finished my undergraduate research on labor unions in Buenos Aires, and I have continued to look at the labor market with ever-increasing scrutiny. As a visual artist and someone who writes, I have wanted to provide a picture of the city, generated by an understanding of those who inhabit it.
  • Studio Documentation Video

    Spaces and language are very rich in Baltimore. We have so many places where several different ethnicities interact, all speaking different languages and dialects, and creating communities that are fluid and transient. Walking thru these streets, it's easy to assume categorizations and ignore the reality of situations.
  • Maury Welding

    The average man has enough fat in him to make 7 bars of soap, enough iron to make a medium-sized nail, enough sugar to fill a shaker, enough lime to whitewash a chicken coop, enough phosphorus for about 2,220 match tips, and enough magnesium for a dose of magnesia.
  • The Fishermen

    ><(((('>~~~*\o/~~~~~~ ><(((('>~~~~~~><(((('>~~~~~~ ><(((('>
  • Tanneries

    Twenty men stand watching the tanners / Liming the hides of the raw skin / Where water gleams yellow and red / Driving the blades of their knives / Unhairing and scudding for the smooth leather / Wiping sweat off their with their bandanas. / The tanners work on // Pausing // to pull their sandals out of the suckholes where they slosh. / Of the twenty looking on / Ten murmur, “O, it’s a hell of a job.” / Ten others, “Jesus, I wish I had a job.”

Inside / Outside Exhibit - Unemployed Politicans

“The nature of the criminal justice system has changed. It is no longer primarily concerned with the prevention and punishment of crime, but rather with the management and control of the dispossessed.” ―Michelle Alexander

Regarded fetishisticly in the psycho-sexual racial imagination of youth culture, the real bodies of young black men are daily viciously assaulted by white racist violence, black on black violence, the violence of overwork, and the violence of addiction and disease. In her introduction to The Body in Pain, Elaine Scarry states that “there is ordinarily no language for pain,” that “physical pain is difficult to express; and that this inexpressibility has political consequences.” This is certainly true of black male pain. Black males are unable to fully articulate and acknowledge the pain in their lives. They do not have a public discourse or audience within racist society that enables them to give their pain a hearing. Sadly, black men often evoke racist rhetoric that identifies the black male as animal, speaking of themselves as “endangered species,” as “primitive,” in their bid to gain recognition of their suffering. ― Bell Hooks in Eating the Other : Desire and Resistance

  • Unemployed Politicians

    16' x 8' x 10' || 2015 || Inside / Outside Exhibit || The Creative Alliance ||| It’s not that Americans are incorrect to be fearful and feel in need of protection. The main thing we need to protect ourselves against, however, is not the modest domestic threat from terrorists, but a new king, a unitary executive that has taken the law for its own, aided and abetted by the courts, supported by a powerful national security state, and unopposed by a riven and weakened Congress.
  • Unemployed Politicans White House Room

    This is a looped video of a mock up White House Oval Office / Press Briefing Room. follow links: [|||] [|||]
  • Inside : Outside Exhibit

    2015 || Creative Alliance Main Gallery || Inside / Outside: Christopher Kojzar & Oletha DeVane October 10 – November 28, 2015 Curator’s Statement Inside | Outside is the culmination project for Creative Alliance resident artist, Christopher Kojzar. An interdisciplinary artist currently in his third year of residency, Kojzar explores drawing, fiber arts, animation, video, and installations, and recently began the 3-year Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
  • Inside : Outside Exhibit (Window Detail)

    Blueprints || Found Materials || Wood || LED Lighting ||| Liberal societies are characterized by a system of checks and balances that are supposed to limit state power. Transparency is thus seen as crucial to the liberal enterprise as a site for “empowerment” of citizens who seek to limit the powers of the state. Transparency is more than an ethical goal; it is the mechanism through which institutional documentation is made visible to ensure the proper functioning of liberal government.
  • Inside : Outside Exhibit ( 2nd Window Detail)

    Found Materials, Looped Video, & Mixed Media
    Found Materials || Looped Video || Mixed Media ||| The viewer stands inside a construct of the Oval Office while looking out the windows to see shattered miniature homes and looped videos of an empty White House Oval Office and Press Room. Several other pieces inform a relation between identity and the trapped sense of our state.
  • Human Trafficking

    What you’re not really missing inmate number 63518 - 308B4 Federal prison camp P.O. Box A Alderson, WV 24910 INMATE NAME & REGISTER NUMBER FPC ALDERSON FEDERAL PRISON CAMP GLEN RAY RD. BOX A ALDERSON, WV 24910 Dear Monique, It’s spaghetti night.
  • A quote by Angela Davis

    “Unemployed Politicians” is a room sized installation that I created in response to the writing of Angela Davis, whereby she is quoted to say that “this country needs more unemployed politicians.” The piece is an interpretation of censorship, the power of citizenry, and the ‘conditions’ of the American dream.

Sound of Plastic Installation

Melting to the sound of plastic.

Music made by people • Loud devices • Luxury goods • Cheap entertainment • Fast pop • Kitty-o • Analog mind control • Drug mouth • Addiction digital • Park heights • Repent Tokyo • Latex • Upsurging • Bella roma • Cartwheels • Downtown sound down in Hollywood • Dollar bills • Big teeth

Melting to the sound of plastic

White skin • Clone genius twin • Arts industrial • King of kings • Rise robots rise • Artificial bliss • Pentagon • Fornicate • Psycho fate • Disgust demento beauticate • Top hats • Top cats • VIP connected • Superstar • Million-dollar disco • Padded balcony • Fame • Fame

Melting to the Sound of Plastic

Electric shock • Dracula • Ectoplasm • Dead boyfriend • Duty free • Propaganda • Young go-go-go-goo-goo • New generation • Moscow dancer • Filthy habits • Delicate • Hangovers • Serotonin • Subversive • Artificial Bliss • Perhaps transparent •

Melting to the sound of Plastic

Ear pimp • Ultra beauty female pose • Moon struck • Wow! • 666 • Boots n cats • B.A.R.K.

  • The Office

    47" x 94" Graphite on Paper
  • The Office

    2015 || Mutli-channel video || Performing : Devin Greene, Nate Parsons, Scott Miller, Ashley Kalina, Keith Becraft. The team has to decide a new name for their beverage so they can launch their marketing campaign. This is their new office. This is where the magic happens. Subliminal messaging isn't really important but popularity is.
  • Crunch Juice - The Ad Campaign

    "Enter a name to get a personalized bottle" "Are you pouring on the pounds?" "Taste it" "Open Happiness" "Keep Calm and Drink" "Yeah, it taste that Good" -- Soft Drink. Low Involvement Purchase and Brand Personality
  • You make me Crunch

    Are natural and organic foods the same? No, although organic foods are natural by definition, The term"natural"applies broadly to foods that are mininally processed and free of synthetic preservatives ; artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors and other artificial additives ; growth hormones; antibiotics ; hydrogenated oils ; stabilizers ; and emulsifiers . Most foods labeled natural are not subject to government controls beyond the regulations and heath codes that apply to all foods.
  • Three's Company. Four's Party

    In the American food market, labels have proliferated. We have organic, natural (whatever that means), gluten-free, lo-fat, and a variety of others whatever marketers think will help distinguish their products from others, and sell more of them at the same time. Now we have a battle between purveyors of organic foods and those whose foods aren't organic, but contain no genetically engineered (GMO) ingredients.
  • So Good it Hurts
  • Refresh Yourself

    That space, which is the one we often call “the wild,” was never quite as innocent of our influence as we like to think; the Mohawks and Delawares had left their marks on the Ohio wilderness long before John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed) showed up and began planting apple trees. Yet even the dream of such a space has become hard to sustain in a time of global warming, ozone holes, and technologies that allow us to modify life at the genetic level—one of the wild’s last redoubts.
  • Ah! Zing! Pow! Crunch!

    I do not eat at McDonald’s anymore (lie). There are those late nights when I am coming home and I round the corner to a 24-hour McDonald’s located but a mile from my house. Sometimes, I just crave for a quarter pounder with cheese, but it is not so much a craving as it is a conviction, a duty to eat McDonald’s. The ‘burger’ reignites some sense of security that is otherwise lost at 2 in the morning. One needs a McDonald’s fix at least once in a blue moon to keep the ‘dream’ alive. The dream is obscure. It is ill-defined. It is based on past intuition that fried cheese equals happiness.
  • Taste Adventure

    McDonald's operates 36,615 restaurants worldwide, employing more than 420,000 people. Thanks Wikipedia

Christopher's Curated Collection

This artist has not yet created a curated collection.