Lives / works in Brooklyn
My work explores State-sanctioned violence and the roll that ideology, consumerism and technology play in distracting us from the nature and scope of that violence. Using the terminology of Judith Butler’s Frames of War, I am interested in how (and whose) bodies become “ungrieveable,” and how physical and emotional disconnection impact how we understand the traumas that we witness and inflict (directly or indirectly). My practice continually circles around the question— how do we reconcile that our comfort is likely built on another’s exploitation?
Bold and sensuous use of color and patterning is a crucial element of my practice, both visually and conceptually. I use saturation— both intensity of color and density of image— as a strategy for seduction, aiming to disarm and subvert through visual ecstasy. An exploration of spectacle through the use of reflective surface (often using vinyl and mirrored acrylic), and optical confusion is also critical to my practice. My interest in spectacle is twofold: in the structure and intoxication of its affect, and in the Situationist conception of capitalism as the all-encompassing, inescapable Spectacle.
In 2011, I co-founded an anti-human-trafficking non-profit in Northern Thailand which which works to empower indigenous minority groups and Burmese refugees. While this project is distinct from my artistic practice, my continued work within forcibly “state-less,” and marginalized communities has deeply affected how and why I choose to make art. While my position as a white, educated American working within communities whose cultures, histories and languages I do not share is inescapably murky territory— requiring constant self-criticality— my experience negotiating privilege, exclusion, and violence in the rural borderlands of Thailand has dramatically impacted how I view the Nation-State as an agent, and how I think about citizenship, privilege, power structures and State-sanctioned violence. An exploration of these issues therefore comprises the conceptual underbelly of my work.