Originally from Washington, DC, I co-founded the Chicago-based visual theater company Local Infinities, creating 11 materials-based visual performances over 7 years, featuring 800 lbs of dirt, 100 gallons of water, or dipping people in giant vats of wax. Local Infinities performed at Oerel international theater festival in the Netherlands and Kyiv Travnevy in Ukraine, and curated international performance series at Links Hall in Chicago.
My installations have utilized overlays of light, color, shadow and film in labyrinths of transparent materials. My original text piece SecondPlace has been presented live with performance artist Natalie Brewster Nguyen in Chicago, as a surround-sound installation created by audio artist Monica Ryan at Sight Sonic Sound Festival in the U.K., and the Long Beach sound festival SoundWalk. Collaborators include slit-shutter photographer and fine artist Kostas Dimitreas (Greece) and Northwestern University’s Intelligent Information Laboratory (Chicago). My set designs complemented performances by dance and theater companies in Chicago, including the renowned Lookingglass Theatre.
Recently I have been creating installations of interactive wax paintings, using arduino microcontrollers to change images using light and the presence of the viewers. Since moving to the Bay Area in 2010, my work has been seen at Fort Mason as part of the San Francisco International Arts Festival, at the Performance Art Institute’s show “Keeping an Eye on Surveillance” curated by Hanna Regev, at Classic Cars West in Oakland, curated by Rebecca Kerlin, and as part of the immersive theater experience The Decameron at Fort Mason, and at the art and technology group CODAME's 2013 gala event 5ENSES, curated by Kiri Rong.In 2014, I collaborated with the innovative technology-based dance company, Kinetech, and adapted my painting SecondSight as a set for interactive dance. The Other Sight, has been performed at Central Market Now, Kinetech's Kunst-Stoff Studios, SAFEHouse, and ODC.
My large-scale painting Luminous is on permanent display at China Lounge restaurant in Pleasanton, California, created in collaboration with LED artists Dustin Jay Edwards and Dan Cote, commissioned by Kiri Rong, with engineering by Carl Pisaturo.
In 2015 I began a new performance series, painting live in response to text read by the audience, addressing issues of fear, violence, trust, and humanity in response to #BlackLivesMatter and other longstanding conflicts with no easy resolution. This premiered as part of Kinetech's Featured Artist Series, 2015.
Currently, I live in Oakland and have a studio in Berkeley.
Nothing is ever just one thing. We are all different in different contexts. History isn't visible on the outside. Intentions, alternate versions of self, all the experiences that make us (and place and society and time) what we know today … none of these are necessarily apparent or apparent all at the same time.
It’s a kind of cubist approach — how to show all the sides of something in one representation … the object or the person from different vantage points, changing perspectives in time, the agglomeration of all of those realities folded into one.
And so, I make objects and experiences that play in those liminal edges. The objects I make are tactile, yet elusive. Meaning is created when the viewer correlates multiple states of a single thing over time. They are objects, images to look inside, and yet they exist in time and space — changing depending on the light or the room itself or seen only in a sideways glance of the viewer.
I turn to forms and materials that suit this transience, creating a frisson between the tangible and intangible. Wax, mirrors, dirt, glass, clear plastic, objects, performances, installations — they are all means towards creating an experience for the viewer, wherein the viewer compiles the data and creates meaning. The work is an envelope. The meaning exists without substance.
I look toward contradictions and surprise that perhaps remind us of the transient nature of our own perspective and how much more there is to discover with engagement, investigation and curiosity. So when you see my paintings made of wax, the intangible image is crafted out of a very material substance, and I hope to call attention to that. Ancient wax is paired with contemporary technology — just as we are material beings operating in an increasingly digital world. We are all working to reconcile floating images in time beyond their material tethers or anything remotely like a “still life."