Through sculpture, performance, and sound, my work explores and honors the ways communities engage with objects in order to build and sustain new worlds. Throughout is an ongoing interest in exploring various modes of forming communities through the creation, use, exchange of, and reverence for material objects. I am especially interested in exploring new ways of understanding gender, and in the creation of alternative spaces that embody these different modes of gendered personhood. Can a different world be imagined through new ways of engaging with materiality?
My most recent body of work explores the creation, or re-creation, of a past, lost, or future material practice involving a group of monochrome white objects, handmade upholstered furniture, and performers. The Observants, Sticks, Bricks, and Tools, all components of this body of work, are fictional artifacts—objects of ambiguous and ceremonial use. I see them as sacred objects that waver, uncertainly, between functionality and formalism. They are extremely precise objects of ambiguous use. In The Observants, the performers utilize these objects in a communal mourning ritual, finding strength in their collectively crafted space of refusal of the options their world presents to them. In the central section of the performance, we chant the word “No” (or “Know”) in repetition along with a recorded chorus of our own voices, until we become one hundred voices strong reiterating our refusal, mournful and celebratory.
From 2008 to 2010 I made a series of projects centered around a fictional group of teenage theater techies and their creation of a religious practice in the basement of their high school. Using only materials and techniques that they could access—sweatshirts and t-shirts, stereos, cd’s, shoe laces, keychains, coke bottles, paperback books, plastic bags, tiles, spray paint, pens and pencils—I channeled this self-made community and produced the objects of their materialist ritual. All For Nothing, Our Dresser, Our Flags, Our Staffs, Screen Saver, and Idle Behavior were manifestations of the activities of this fictional group and the ways they realized an alternative world within an oppressive and negating environment.
Throughout my work I employ strategies for transforming everyday objects through various modes of covering—painting, upholstering, coloring in, and mosaicing. I am intrigued by surfaces, both of objects and physical bodies, as rich sites for creative reinterpretation and redeployment. My works both create and honor the real life production of secular materialist rituals as modes of personal and social transformation.