If one assumes basic markmaking is as unique to the human being as a heartbeat, running gait or sleep pattern, can it be similarly quantified, recorded and studied? Would it enable one to establish any sort of deeper, metaphysical “meaning” behind one’s art, and if so, what would it be? Through various artistic practices, I examine methods in which the most elemental markmaking information, lines and loops, might be recorded and documented in an existential attempt to define “self."  As the artwork is intimately linked to the process of its documentation, I also ask who bears the consequences of obsessively producing and collecting in a pursuit of the potentially unknowable.
From the Fountain Street Annex Blog:
My work is summed up in my Artist’s Statement [see above]. When I initially started exploring the idea of the mark as part of the extended self (which is the self, plus the “stuff” that we possess or create that helps define our identity), I soon realized that that the business of analyzing the mark in a literal sense wasn’t all that interesting. After all, tech companies are constantly analyzing artwork in an attempt to catch creativity in a bottle. Christie’s recently held the first auction for an AI-created artwork, produced by an algorithm studying 15,000 portraits. Evidently a large data-set is required to discover the sort of patterns needed to create a $432,500 portrait from scratch.
However, it was much more compelling to think about the person who might be looking at these marks for answers. Someone looking for meaning in their own markmaking, searching for patterns that might answer the “big picture” questions in life, like why am I here? 
What does that pursuit look like? How would that person define their data-set? Obviously, there would have to be a lot of information – obsessively created, as patterns only emerge with big numbers. I decided there would be a set of rules defining two states, the loop and the line (or mark) and determined procedures to follow to maintain consistency. Also they would create some system for cataloging their collection. From my museum experience, I’ve found that most collectors or small museum owners don’t follow any traditional cataloging system or nomenclature, they often create one based on what they think a professional museum does but built on their own idiosyncrasies and needs. Also, they don’t use special museum collection software for their material – sometimes their catalog just resides in a spiral-bound notebook or 3x5” index cards, and they simply use the equipment around them. They work with what they know.
So, my graduate work is about probing this imaginary metaphysical quest to find meaning in the scrutiny of one’s own work, of indexing these marks and cataloging them. The project opens up a lot of questions. What would prompt someone to do this in the first place? PTSD? Mid-life crisis? And end-of-life review? Mental illness? And what happens to all this stuff? Where does it go? Does the collector inevitably collapse into what Walter Benjamin called “the allegorist,” for whom “objects represent only keywords in a secret dictionary, which will make known their meanings to the initiated -- precisely the allegorist can never have enough of things.” In other words, when does the collection become a hoard, with things produced and heaped with no rhyme or reason known outside that of their creator? So mental illness and hoarding becomes part of the narrative, too.
Damon Campagna is a second-year MFA 2D candidate at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He has 15 years of experience working in the museum field which informs his work (including documenting and archiving almost ten thousand objects for the New York City Fire Department, including their 9/11 World Trade Center-related artifacts). He received his BFA in painting with departmental honors from Rhode Island College in 2016 and was awarded Antonio Cirino Memorial Fellowships and Patricia Doran Scholarships in 2017 and 2018. Damon held exhibitions at AS220 in March 2017, 2018 and 2019 MassArt Art Auctions and Year Two Graduate Exhibition, Providence's Chazan Gallery in January of 2019 and included in Abigail Ogilvy Gallery’s Fresh Faces exhibition. Damon will be presenting his thesis work at MassMOCA, and the Boston Sculpture Gallery in the spring and summer of 2019.
Recent/Upcoming Exhibitions
2019 MassArt MFA 2019 Exhibition, Boston Sculpture Gallery, Boston
2019 Boston Key Party 2019, Stovepipe Gallery, Charlestown, MA
2019 MassArt 2019 Graduate Thesis Exhibition, MassMOCA, Boston 
2019 MassArt 29th Annual Benefit Art Auction, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
2019 Fresh Faces Group Show Abigail Oglivy, Boston 
2019 Damon Campagna, Deborah Peeples & Ponnapa Prakkamakul, Fountain Street Annex, Boston
2019 Intersections of Scale, Chazan Gallery, Providence
2018 All School Show, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
2018 Velir Corporation MassArt Exhibition, Somerville
2018 MassArt 28th Annual Benefit Art Auction, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
2017 Damon Campagna: Recent Work, AS220 Main Gallery, Providence
2017 Rhode Island State of the Arts Group Exhibition, University of Rhode Island, Providence
2017 Pawtucket Foundation Prize Exhibition, Pawtucket Arts Collaborative
2016 Rhode Island College Senior Exhibition, Bannister Gallery, Providence
2015 Rhode Island State of the Arts Group Exhibition, University of Rhode Island, Providence
Selected Curation
2016 Soak It Up, The Drawing Room, Providence
2012 Conflict Zone, NYC Fire Museum
2011 Remembering Their Prayers: Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, NYC Fire Museum
2005 Women in Self-Portraiture: Hive Archive, Warwick Museum of Art
2005 Your Seat Here Is Only Temporary, Warwick Museum of Art
Recent Awards
2018 Antonio Cirino Memorial Scholarship, Rhode Island Foundation
2018 Patricia Doran Award Scholarship, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
2018 Dean's Scholarship, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
2017 Patricia Doran Award Scholarship, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
2017 Dean's Scholarship, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
2017 Antonio Cirino Memorial Fellowship, Rhode Island Foundation 
2016 Senior Departmental Award, Studio Art, Rhode Island College
2017 MFA 2D Candidate, Massachusetts College of Art and Design
2016 BFA Rhode Island College
1997 AFA Community College of Rhode Island
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