I’m so happy to share with you electric wire, the first video single from my Angkor Wat book and album. electric wire represents the genesis of the entire project, it being the first poem I wrote during my first visit to Siem Reap. It’s based on my experience of exploring the town and the things I experienced and saw there. The video is a visual interpretation of the poem (and the experiences it describes). There’s also an electric wire zine and even tote bag you can get as gifts over at my fundraiser for Cambodian children. Check it out and enjoy.
Understanding the difference between skillful vs unskillful fear is an important Buddhist concept. I’ve been thinking about this in very personal terms. When I did my convergence installation earlier this year, I had to face some fears. The piece is installed in the middle of the woods. To fully experience the piece, you must visit in the dark of night with no lights. That can be a somewhat scary thing, especially with the constant sounds of the forest and all the animals around you. But I pushed myself forward to do this with skillful fear. I remember sitting there under cover of darkness, the convergence orbs glowing nearby, hearing the snaps and cracks of animals and birds all around. I even heard the snorting of deer who dashed away as soon as they detected my presence. My heart raced at these encounters with skillful fear, helping me ultimately get more in touch with my love for these animals and nature at large.
I captured one of the encounters on video when I heard something moving towards me. It turned out to be an armadillo! I had never seen an armadillo in Georgia before. When I showed the footage to my parents, they were amazed as in their almost-70 years of living there, they also had never seen an armadillo. I guess it takes a New York artist working in the woods—and a bit of skillful fear—to bring them out!
No matter what your fears may be, I encourage you to practice skillful fear. Use your fear as a tool to uncover more productive feelings within—not as a weapon in defense.
9/11 is forever etched in my mind. It’s a day that forever changed the course of history. But it’s also a day of intense personal experience for me as a young New Yorker. It was only natural that I would communicate about that experience through my writing and art. In 2014 I collected a tightly curated selection of that work for The Language of History exhibition at NYPL Jefferson Market Library. I also published a book by the same name to expand upon that show. But both the show and the book were tightly curated. My archive contained so much more that remained unseen and unpublished.
In 2015, when the 9/11 Memorial Museum expressed interest in my archive, I decided to prepare something totally unique and original just for the occasion. I designed a special anodized aluminum limited edition box to house original photographic prints from this body of work as well as a copy of The Language of History book. While the original book contained only 26 photographs, this special I’m set expands the total number to 129.
The purpose of the box is archival in nature. Many of these photos are not necessarily aesthetically pleasing or even good photographs in a technical sense. But they do document a very specific time and place and cover an aspect of the 9/11 tragedy—the local experience from Greenwich Village—in a way I’ve never seen done before. It’s hard to remember how back in 2001 we didn’t have cell phone cameras documenting events all around us, so that fact that I created all these photos is more unique than it might sound. My intent is to commit these personal images to the narrative preserved by the 9/11 Memorial Museum so that our larger collective history can remember the quiet stories of those dark days us New Yorkers experienced so many years ago.
Last year I made my first major foray into installation art. I created the site-specific work the woods are watching and released a series of videos documenting the process. While that work was part of my larger Crayon Portraiture project, it also marked the beginning of this new earth-based aspect of my practice.
Today I’m proud to debut my newest piece, which is titled convergence. This new piece takes me further down the path of creating art that interacts with the land and the environment.