4 channel video installation, White Box, Portland, OR, 2014.
found deer skeleton, each bone has been reconfigured--by hand--in porcelain, 42x72x40", 2014.
images made while an Artist in Residence at VCCA, Auvillar, France, 2012.
15x15" digital prints, made using Instagram, taken in and around my home in Walla Walla, WA, 2013-15.
In assembling these disparate objects and images I have juxtaposed material, spatial, cultural and historical information related to the ways by which we “think” or imagine the world. I have culled source imagery from YouTube, MRI brain scans, as well as the history of art and literature. Both art and science are languages used to describe and construct the world around us, and our position within it. A Topology of Thinking sustains a tension in which a hyper-rational neuroscientific description of thinking is seen in relation to more intuitive, material models: a facsimile of Rodin’s Thinker, the scattered cement books, and the suspended acrylic form above.
This installation is a meditation on the shifting cultural orientation from text to visually based formats for processing the world. I am curious about what is being gained and lost in this transition to a digital, screen-centered universe, and with how art might function in a liminal space, allowing us to connect texts, images and objects in new ways.
All sculptures take their formal cues and structures from their cultural and historical contexts. This diverse accumulation aims to put some of those forms into play with each other: primordial clay modeled into a human figure; highly processed industrial plastic, bolted into an absurd hanging tangle; a symbol of literacy made inaccessible by its transferal into an obdurate material. These forms coexist alongside digital imagery by virtue of strong “ideological glue”, and their unfamiliar relations and meanings must be forged in the individual imagination.
Lastly, A Topology of Thinking is a response to the Italian Renaissance Revival architecture of the Pendleton Art Center itself. Methods of viewing and interpreting art are shaped by the spaces in which they are seen. The formal space of the East Oregonian Gallery invites a more distant viewing of art, via the tropes of isolated figure and pedestal. By reinterpreting a canonical work -The Thinker- and putting it into conversation with contemporary digital media and materials, A Topology of Thinking questions facile reception of knowledge and history, and urges new coalitions between mind and matter.
The work Juxtapose, located on the exterior wall of the Fouts Center for Visual Art, employs the Duchampian strategy of joining two otherwise unrelated objects together in one piece. This work addresses the historical trajectory of sculpture through three main periods: The Classical, the Modern, and the Post-Modern. The Classical celebration of the ideal nude form literally hangs, pendant-like, from the Modern industrial chain. Together they become one unlikely yet visually integrated object. Together they become a third thing in which the deeply important Classical past mingles with the mechanized, manufactured present, in which complex ideas of authorship, skill, and commodification play themselves out.
As a sculptor and installation artist I aim to give poetic form to knowledge. I use materiality as a way of thinking about things that are not necessarily material. This body of work, collectively titled corpus, arises out of recent time spent living in the American Deep South, specifically, Jackson, Mississippi. The images and objects bear witness to the enduring privation, violence and defeat that plagues this part of the country, independently and as a result of the epic social and natural disaster experienced in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Reparations, a large linked chain, one half rusted iron and one half unfinished pine, lays in two menacing heaps upon the gallery floor. The aged and weathered metal sits in uneasy contrast to the light and raw wooden links. In A Brief History of the South, heaps of cast concrete books--piled carelessly and in ruin--probe the privilege and inaccessibility of knowledge. In Exodus (Fountain for NOLA), a dresser, much like the kind seen floating amid the debris of Katrina, is reconfigured as an absurd, inverse fountain. Water seeps slowly from the top drawer into a half-open drawer beneath. The dresser weeps. Accompanied by a sound score reciting text from the book of Exodus, the drawer steadily fills with water, unfolding a Biblically scaled narrative of loss. A common dresser stands as a symbol of mourning for the many objects and lives catastrophically wiped away.
These works enact a poetic relationship between the found and the handmade object. The frames, books, chain, dresser, crutch and gun are all objects I encountered and detoured away from ordinary, utilitarian purposes. I put them into dialogue with various materials in order to complicate their positions and significations, and with the hope of inspiring new forms and imaginings. My deepest conviction as a sculptor asserts that the way an object is made is indubitably tied to its meaning. As a result, many of these works are a product of laborious, repetitive, even nurturing acts, so that meaning becomes condensed within the objects, rather than applied to them. It is my desire to implicate the viewer in a phenomenological situation, in which the experience of objects is ambiguous, corporal and direct. It is this thinking--in the language of materials and process--that allows me to speak most lucidly about the blunt vulnerability, and yet frightening elegance, of being alive.