ARTIST STATEMENT: March of Progress
My work looks at how technologies at every age of human civilization exert control, loudly or subtly, over human choices. As inventors, we assume a nonreciprocal relationship of control over our technologies. For example, we sometimes mistakenly believe that photography frames our memories and experiences in a pure medium; however, the camera’s mechanical limits create a product of finite possibilities that alters our relationship with our memories and channels our experience with the world. To risk imbuing cameras with agency, I wonder in what other ways they exert their quiet influence over us. If it is true, as Vilém Flusser suggests, that in taking photographs, we fulfill the camera's calling that every possible picture eventually be taken, can the same be said about Drawing? About Painting?
My other current paintings and drawings also incorporate these references to technology, history, and the future, reflected in images of our most pressing anxieties and desires. Motifs of military and consumer culture, news events, and economic/environmental collapse appear alongside faceless spectators, junk foods, revelry and the ubiquitous eyes of cameras.
In my newer work, Islamic geometric patterns, (an early abstract homage to the divine) pair with imagined, hallucinogenic depictions of the jet engines and rockets that have permanently changed the way we relate spatially to our place and planet. These ecstatic rocket images nestle alongside drawings of the recent explosion of an unmanned Antares rocket.
Technically, the paintings and drawings are a jangle of rendering styles from mechanical illustration and visual communication drawing. Exploded diagrams, scientific-style illustrations, isometric projections, engineering schematics, geometric patterns and rendering that directly references photography, create a dissonance that echoes the interplay of eras and technologies.
But it’s not only in the lofty human themes, like exploration and discovery, in which our technologies slip the bond of our intentions. My 2017 show at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art focused on a more subtle and personal way in which even an essential act like feeding our families jangles violently against the ways we communicate information to each other.