Artist living and working between New York City, Missouri, and Los Angeles
There are fairy tales and there is philosophy, theory, written and recorded history, thoughts and postulations, and also knowledge that is unspoken—things that go unsaid; things that are understood through pragmatics or gesture; things taken in from one’s surroundings as an extension of one’s self, perhaps as survival, or as familial engagement amongst kin of sorts. Then, there is the knowledge that is only said, recorded in repeated utterances over generations, across species and categories. Knowledge comes in many forms: articulated in words, or felt and intuited.
The engagement with the perceptual and the reciprocal resonance amongst things in a landscape is central to my practice. My corporeal sensorial engagement is key. My subjective acting and sensing self [embodied perception] is my point of departure, but not to be privileged over other entities. Site and specificity locate my practice within direct corporeal experience. My interest is to show that this investment in the directly felt affect can engage ideas beyond the concrete, as well as what is held within them.
In order to continue pursuing my interest in the sensuous perception of “landscape” and human culture’s relation to it, I exploring an area largely considered man’s domain – that of language. Language is a structure by which I traverse and articulate these subjects, this understanding, or rather a frame through which I attempt to discuss both “the permanent” and the ephemeral.
I am also seeking to encompass the idea of the “gesture” under a broad umbrella in order to suss out how geographic location, topology, biological and geological elements can influence the regional aspects of “language” as well as be a form of language or gesture in and of itself.
As human communication and commodification become more and more streamlined, regional specificities are becoming less defined. This access and pervasiveness of cultural commonality, superficial or otherwise, can level the language of the land, literally, into a flat space or monotone voice. There are examples of this, from human dialects becoming extinct to the range of regional wild animals dispersing due to climate change.
I have thoughts along the lines of: is “my twang” related to the hills that are my family? Is my way of speaking, rambling, storytelling, the verbal gesture of formative and ongoing years of purposeful wandering in the woods? It feels so. What are the discreet relations in this? Are there any? I could draw these relations, when I think about it even a little. I have been formed in direct reciprocity with the land that is my family. While this may seem to describe a very specific and insular experience, I am positing that it has a broader perceptual and sensual application to all “things” in the landscape, that it can speak to all audiences.
My studio work is integrated with a field practice in a continuum that reflects my greater concerns. My investigations include research into the critical philosophy and theory, as well as small actions and recordings of discrete examples in sites such that have included the Ozarks of Missouri, the Salton Sea of California, Los Angeles, New York City and the Hudson River Valley at Olana. Reflection on historical and practical concerns in concert with notes, documents, and reflections are elements at times integrate and lose differentiation.