The poet Charles Bernstein once distinguished poetry from philosophy by linking philosophy to logic and poetry to the “synesthetic” capacity of language. This characterization of poetry holds for visual art as well, but I think that synesthesia is a much broader concept when unbound from verbal language. Instead, in art like Charles Wilkin's, the synesthetic conjunction is one of overlapping and intersecting worlds and contexts—not just sensory commingling but cosmological mixing as well.
Collage art is, of course, a form based on juxtaposition. Wilkin’s contributions go far beyond that concept, and into the realm of a deep, foundational “struggle between cause and effect.” Capturing, decontextualizing, re-suturing, and shuffling a near-infinite flow of “cultural fragments,” Wilkin’s art shapes “new stories that challenge our collective assumptions and aspirations.” He is, in the most direct and literal sense, a conceptual artist—Wilkin’s work operates with ideas, sublimating them into an atomic flurry of competing and conflicting reflections. Though it’s a term we’ve trotted out a few times now, Wilkin’s art is perhaps best typified by its undecidability—it’s unrelenting, deconstructive maelstrom of utter sensory overload.