Samuel Albaugh is an interdisciplinary artist, born in Flint, Michigan. Raised in a family of Stone Masons, growing up in that tradition of building. He studied at College for Creative Studies in Detroit, as well as the School of The Art Institute in Chicago, lives and works in Detroit, Michigan. His work draws influence from Contemporary Midwestern American youth culture, with a deep interest in DIY methods of making and ways of being.

Topping Out, Site Specific Installation at hospital attic, tree, wood, electronics, lights, cable, 2019

Topping Out, (detail) Site Specific Installation at hospital attic, tree, wood, electronics, lights, cable, 2019

Ground Swell and (2); Slow, Installation, wood, shop light, hammock, 2019
Pillow Talk, interactive installation (pillows, cellphones, projector, 2018

Basement Chess Show, steel, concrete, contact microphone,
snare drum, amplifier w/ volume function stuck on full, 2019
Waterbed In Sculpture Pond, (performance sample, 2018

Wind Turbine Generating,  aluminum, steel, electronics, automotive components, treadmill motor, radio flyer wagon, 2019

I am one person in a pair of twins. I was born in Flint Michigan, ten years after General Motors moved its factory to Mexico. My family moved to a suburb of Detroit to start aconstruction business, which I have intermittently worked at for over ten years. I pursued an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts in Detroit at College for Creative Studies, assuming I would leave as a painter. I loved the idea of owning a painting (even if I myself painted it). The only personal collections I had seen belonged to the owners of the bathrooms I tiled. I instead pursued sculpture after realizing I have labor in grained in my ideas of work, both from my construction background, and growing up building skateboard ramps, long distance running. My identity has been formed by informal institutions like youth culture, music scenes, and online forums. All of which exist in an undefined flux. The “I think therefore I am,” or better yet “I think _____, therefore I am ______,” is in opposition to the cowboy ideals laid out by the art history books of early to mid yesteryear. Since one’s identity is tied to one’s occupation, the identity of anyone occupied in capitalism is tied to labor.

Labor in its sculptural capacity cannot be separated from the history of art and design since the constructivists. My work situates this history back into the actual function of objects in a particular place and time in the face of encroaching globalized homogeneity. I create modular sculptures that allow components to be in flux, continually utilized in a stream of projects. These thoughts on my work came out of my relationship with the built environment; from working at a construction company before I knew I was doing sculpture. While labor itself has long been a part of discussions of collectivized action, whether in unions, or urban ecology, the relationship of labor and the individual is relegated to the D.I.Y. methodology, itself resistant to wide spread theoretical investigation. In a city like Detroit, post-industrial and with an abundance of material (without a maintained ownership,) the question of labor and the individual is less tied to property than a D.I.Y. methodology typically dictates. Having free access to space and stuff has allowed me to investigate the materiality of legal, virtual (pirate radio), and physical space.