i’ll be 44 years old this year. all the things they say about midlife crises seem to be true. it’s a thing. i haven’t been myself, creative or otherwise, for quite some time. the pandemic, middle age, and work circumstances all collided, smashed together, split apart, ripped me in two. i’m still trying to put things back together.Read More
I had gone away to spend some time out of the city. We booked a house near the sea because it seemed like a relaxing spot. The goal was to disconnect for a while, spend less time looking at screens all day. I took some creative supplies with me, markers and pencils and such, with the vague idea of, should inspiration strike, being creative in an analog way. And, of course, making photos. But I had no grand plan. I didn’t intend to develop a new project. So this is definitely a case of the work finding me instead of me finding it.
The drawings, poems, and photos I made essentially describe my experience that week. I’m literally talking about hanging out by the beach for a few days, trying to recover from a stressful time. On the surface, it’s not so profound. But it’s the mundanity that makes it relatable. I used that simplicity to tap into the subconscious.
After I got back home and realized I had created all this stuff, I wondered what I might do with it. I put together the video art and designed an experience meant to be seen in person, projected in a dark room with surround sound. I even set up a small screen prototype. The work created exactly the immersive and meditative environment I was going for. But given the pandemic, trying to plan an in-person exhibition didn’t feel right. So I began to consider what I could do digitally.
I’ve always been more comfortable in cyberspace, so it’s sort of odd I never did a digital exhibition before. But the pandemic has changed the ways we connect. Besides, I’ve always been somewhat reclusive and find it challenging to communicate with people in person, making digital spaces more effective. So, I hope other people are more open to this way of connecting than they might have been in the past.
It would be easy to think of an online exhibition as an inferior substitute for something else. But I don’t feel that way about this at all. In fact, I’m excited that I can beam this work into your home, no matter where you are in the world.
Please join me and explore seaside magic from your corner of cyberspace. I hope you will approach it with intention and feel the same sense of calm that I felt while making it.
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.
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.