If cartography, through its translation of space into quantifiable measurements, is a form of colonialism- I seek a language of place that refuses reduction through the multiplicity of perspective. Smithson’s theory of entropy, a process of deterioration that is conditioned by irreversibility, has driven my art practice. My work extends from my direct experiences in landscapes that are entropic, and maps conflicting forces that contribute to their transformation.
Through the act of walking in precarious landscapes that have been compromised by over industrialization, anthropogenic forces, and the combination of both- I initiate multi-media projects that challenge the boundaries ofrepresentation, access, and habitation. I work with community members, science researchers, and historical documentation to develop scripted narratives that are performed through voice overs, written text, map making, and diagramatic drawings. The narratives are culled from many voices, timeframes, and contexts to create new hybrid subjectivities that emphasize the intersection of competing and controversial perspectives. Currently I am focused on the pervasive issue of water resources specifically within the two places that I live, the coastal region of NYC and the high desert of the south west.
Artistically, research drives my ideas and ideas determine aesthetics. My practice is a negotiation between what is physically present in landscape, and its subsequent memories, to pose future imaginaries. I seek long-term engagement with places and their people as a means of exploring my own self-identity that is intimately formed by land and community.
"'Not to find one's way in a city may well be uninteresting and banal. It requires ignorance- nothing more,' says the twentieth century philosopher - essayist Walter Benjamin. 'But to lose oneself in a city- as one loses oneself in a forest- that calls for quite a different schooling.'"
-Rebecca Solnit quoting Walter Benjamin
My teaching philosophy seeks to empower individual students with the ability to form critical questions about the world and their positions within it. My definition of empowerment is the ability to be both vulnerable and self assured simultaneously, a state I also seek as a teacher and artist. Invoking the opportunity to lose oneself through various forms of spatial exploration- blind walks, excessive periods of silent observation in public space, psycho-geographic game play- allows the student to begin transitioning from the person they were in the family home to the person they will become in the world. My teaching philosophy begins with the belief that I can provide my students time, space, and the tools to identify, test, and reconfigure themselves as creative participants within the communities around them. My professional teaching experience has been predominately within a Foundations program in an art and design school that emphasizes cross- disciplinary collaboration. My specific knowledge is based in contemporary art, which is used as the basis for curricula that addresses the semiotics of public space, studio based research processes, and professional development within a fine arts career. My teaching objective is to help students develop the skill to ask critical questions out of personal experience, and then express those questions through multi-faceted projects.
Losing oneself also requires that a final result is not predetermined; as a teacher one of my great challenges is to communicate the value of letting go of the "final product" in favor of the process that got them there. My First Year curriculum emphasizes process over product and focuses on specific studio based research techniques that help students open their own door to unchartered territory. One of the research methods I teach is a multi- part field study that begins with extended periods of un-mediated observation, i.e.. only using the faculties of your body to observe yourself and the surroundings. Immersive observation is followed by more active forms of research, such as qualitative interviews, observational drawing, note taking and writing, photography, audio sampling, etc. The synthesis of this fieldwork is accomplished in collaborative groups, and applied to such concepts as site interventions or a de-constructive analysis. An important aspect of my teaching methodology is to provoke students into a state of vulnerability, where they are personally implicated within their own investigations, as a path to find the larger questions that drive their work.