My work thrives in the spaces in between, existing on a spectrum of duality between creation and destruction. Recurring themes center around agents of entropy dismantling civilization even as we build it up with fantastic technological ingenuity. Our Universe seems not to have noticed Einstein’s insistence on an elegant ‘theory of everything,’ and instead appears to function as a fractured megastructure rife with glinting paradox. This is wildly exciting! It’s also brutally confusing. I can’t seem to resist poking around the edges of unreachable knowledge. Thus, despite the inherent darkness of previously mentioned themes, awe and wonder can’t help but be woven into the background fabric of my work as well.
I have found that disrupting real time human chronology can induce the Overview Effect. From space the boundaries between humans, countries, ideologies, and nations aren’t visible and lose importance. Many astronauts aboard the International Space Station have reported a profound cognitive shift resulting in an acute awareness of the interconnectedness of humanity to itself and the planet. To sum it up the Overview Effect naturally induces a wider view. For example, a wildfire is a fast moving situation where the slow process of time lapse photography is out of place. Recording an event in this manner permits us to see the wider reality via chronological disruption.
Time and sound are my primary mediums as expressed through a number of sub-mediums such as painting, photography, video, and installation. I combine nearly all of the above into films that often require hundreds of thousands of photographs to produce. Wildfires, riots, stars, decaying animals, optical illusion paintings, abandoned structures, large-scale scientific facilities, and many other subjects are recorded with advanced video and time lapse techniques. Long term projects often manifest in a number of ways. A narrative videoart piece may include photographic prints, a soundart album, paintings, installations, and even sculptures, for example.
My narrative film work can be broken down into three large categories: video, painting, and sound. As mentioned above a major aspect of my visual practice involves chasing down news events in progress and recording them with time lapse photography. For my paintings I scour the desert in search of abandoned buildings. When I find a room in one I like I literally set up camp and paint large scale optical illusions on what’s left of the interior structure. I have lived in abandoned houses for months at a time in order to do these paintings. This part of my practice draws primarily from the exploration of Native American ruins with my grandfather while growing up in the south eastern corner of Utah. It is also informed by many artists and movements from street art, to the photography of John Divola and Lee Friedlander, to the subversion of the utopian pursuits of minimalist painters such as John McLaughlin and Piet Mondrian.
Finally, the medium of sound plays an essential role in my films. I am fascinated with strange and exotic recording processes, software, and microphones as well as conventional musical instruments. This has led me to unlikely pursuits pioneered by Christina Kubisch and Kim Cascone. For example, the use (and abuse) of advanced noise reduction processes and electromagnetic spectrum sensors to record the internal electronic sounds of anything using electricity such as flashing lights on emergency response vehicles, medical equipment, and cell phones. All of this sound is directly related to the visual content. It is recorded in the field or at news events and mined from public science entities such as NASA. Sound completes the visual component of my films and is an essential part of my practice.