My practice is driven by an intense fascination with the materiality of my environment – including my physical body – and with the vitality of the present moment. It is a way of accessing the “here” and the “now” and materializing that experience for myself and others.
On contemplating the “now,” I think of my work as an extended meditation on the poetic tension between the dynamic, bursting power of the present and the stoic, stillness of forever. On accessing the “here,” it is an exploration of the nature of matter itself, with a particular interest in the slippery borderlands between conventional dichotomies of material reality, including solid v. permeable; separate v. whole; moving v. static; active v. passive; and present v. void. And, it is a way of connecting with “place,” as I increasingly incorporate radically local, site-specific materials into my physical work.
I am particularly attracted to humble, fluid materials – like earth, concrete, plaster, rubber, raw wool, rope, wire, and paper – that allow for direct, physical handling, preserve evidence of their handling, and defy precise control. I understand my attraction to materials and processes that require my physical body, defy predictability, and welcome imperfection and irregularity, as a sort of resistance to the generic, impersonal perfection and mundane predictability of the machine/information age.
I count a wide range of influences on my practice: from my early training in improvisational music; to my childhood with my father on the open sea, absorbing the mysteries of wind, water, and sail; to my undergraduate studies in anthropology and my time abroad in India, France, and Morocco – places and studies that helped me reconnect with a sense of the sacred in everyday life. My time living on the border of the Navajo Nation in rural New Mexico has also had an enormous impact on my work and practice – cultivating in me a strong connection to the expansive stillness of the land and the raw, tumultuous forces of nature that are so palpable there.
Conceptually, I am interested in the writing and thinking of the New Materialists, including Jane Bennett, and the neo-vitalists, including Paul Virillio and Giles Deleuze. I am also interested in how these ideas about the artificiality of categorical/binary thinking and the intertwining, entangled nature of physical reality relate to queer theory, with a particular interest in transgender experience and how art and life can queer the normative body.