In recognition of the world-historic moment of the Covid-19 pandemic, all previously announced performances, screenings, and talks in April and May have been postponed indefinitely. It is difficult to put on hold projects and events that have been in the works for many years. However, it is far more difficult to watch the profound structural and leadership problems of the United States result in untold and unequal human suffering. As we shelter in place this spring, let us imagine and organize toward a world where health care is a human right, where justice is restorative, where basic subsistence is guaranteed, and where all communities have the means to flourish.
Like many others, I’m looking at lost income during this crisis with a good degree of apprehension. There are quite a few resources designed to support artists during this time, but they are likely to be overwhelmed by the need. If you are an artist in need of emergency support OR if you are in a fortunate enough position to help others at this time, please take a look at Creative Capital’s list resources.
As a research-based artist, I use a range of media to give form to the political ecology of place. While my earlier work addressed spaces shaped by political struggle, the growing ecological crisis has prompted me to focus on the damaged landscapes of everyday life. The ‘slow violence’ of the climate crisis—with its linked emergencies of extinction, toxicity, land loss, and pollinator collapse–cannot be separated from continuing legacies of racism and colonialism. If climate change represents a change of geologic proportions, as many scientists believe, it requires we re-evaluate everything that came before: concepts of the autonomous individual, an economics based on perpetual growth, and values systems structured around (some) human needs. I strive to make work that is big enough to capture complexity and small enough for intimacy, identification, and action.
Art historian W.J.T. Mitchell influentially observed that “landscape” should be understood less as a noun than a verb—not merely a visual genre but a cultural practice through which the historical, material, and social processes that have shaped space are naturalized and rendered opaque. The visual dimension of landscape has been widely theorized as concealing more than revealing, presenting a methodological challenge for the visual artist. By themselves, images may monumentalize their subjects, and artists have long used strategies like distortion, sequencing, captioning, collage, and montage to disrupt the power of the single image. While concerns with landscape have animated my most significant work over the past seven years, I have consistently sought to shift, undermine, or supplement the visual dimension of space through textual and experiential means. Rather than offer fixed, masterful works that might present alternative content but address the audience or spectator in familiar ways, I seek to share my research process as one possible model for critical engagement with space. My goal is to offer accounts of landscape that allow them to be read as complex but contingent material, cultural, and interspecies assemblages.
News sent as needed, not more than every couple of months. Often less because I hate marketing.