Statement of Artistic Practice



There is a sense of being, unnoticed and pervasive when one is immersed in a life-altering place. Upon leaving, the knowledge of changes wrought, come to the forefront, engulfing like an all-consuming tidal wave. It is necessary to blend with the forces or change, become an empty shirt, replacing resistance with curiosity. This is the truism that I take from my experiences in Morocco and that have stayed with me to this day. Curiosity and acceptance keeps my art alive and evolving. The intensity of my curiosity is the key to my art practice, coupled with the will to act upon and manifest that curiosity. Exploration into transformative states has been the underlying basis for my artistic practice, beginning with its internal aspects, triggered by my years living in Morocco. It took leaving Morocco at a crucial moment to propel my artistic practice from large oil paintings of experiential narratives to works laden tangential metaphors, steeped in hermetic symbolism. Upon returning to the United States, I explored ideas relating to personal fragmentation and developed a series of works concerning catharsis. The nature of printmaking is transformative systems and suspended recompense, the release is the process and product of printmaking. I represented this fragmenting through identifying and creating conceptual places of significance. The book form, physical and digital meshed conceptually as books are places closed, information sealed from view until broached, the promise secret until trespassed. They encapsulated significance. My self and work moves forward through tangential relationships and extrapolated meanderings through media and ideas. I have spent the last years developing and exploring transmedia systems in four separate but interrelated bodies of work: Time based Media, The Fish Bomb Boats, Collaboration and Installation and Interactive Environments.

 Time-based Media Time based media has traveled in tandem with my works for several decades. It began in film and I even look to my first xerographic artist books as time-based entities. I question the parameters that designate print, book, book becoming sculpture, video becoming book, thus the print multiple. Time-based media embodies my artist books and is also used as the final art piece/documentary evidence of ephemeral installations and collaborations. Intransigence was a collaborative installation with my colleague at the Co-Lab center in Austin. The environmental based installation was created from recyclable materials, slowly disintegrated with melting ice and videotaped during its two-week lifespan.

Collaboration and Installation I pursue opportunities to be involved with both community members and other artists in the participation and creation of events that not only address the environment as in Intransigence and Corner 2 Corner but also issues of gender and sexuality as in Genderland and Out in the Mainstream. . Corner 2 Corner 2:Urban Poster Explosion (Chicago) and Intransigence (Austin) brought these art experiences to a wider audience. I was involved with the collaborative event, “Guns Up, Guns Down: A Cultural Response to Campus Carry!” where I created improvisational music/visual with a musician and the MakeyMakey. Recently the media pieces have been part of an ongoing collaboration with a member of the school of music, where first, I created a series of photo-roman interpretations to experimental musical performances. Subsequently, ‘Scapes was an interdisciplinary collaborative event, which focused on a total immersive environment driven by music, supported by visual and performance art. ‘Scapes, has more technologically diverse interpretations with a 3D retro red/green video, fly-thru of 3D modeled cloudscapes, and another improvisational visualized music performance using MakeyMakey.

The Fish Bomb Boats My work exploring internal states of transformation became mentally hermetic, the symbols while intriguing had significance only to me. The sculptural airships, the Fish Bomb Boats came to fruition with No Danger, an invitation to exhibit, reclaiming flying as a form of cultural interaction rather than war or terror. From the installation, No Danger, I continue to create the Fish Bomb Boats, an airship based upon marine iconography, making commentary on the fragility of life, and the potential for long-term environmental devastation through global warming. I have abstracted the structures to shift between fish-like forms and boats, with oar-fin mechanisms, propellers and zeppelin-like forms. They are constructed with flexible cane, handmade paper sealed to the cane and embellished with Moroccan henna symbols. They engender a mythos that projects fragility of existence with environmental collaboration for survival.  As the flying machines have grown in size and scope, they attainted a preciousness contrary to original intention. Their fragility and perceived value makes them difficult to transport and install. These factors have caused me to re-evaluate their function, leading me to my current research in interactive environments.

Interactive Environments After a recent exhibition of my flying machines, I began to rethink the concept of the traditional gallery and over the last years I have been scanning the airship components with a 3D scanner, reassembling and animating them. Interested in expanded dissemination, I am currently investigating serious game design using the Oculus Rift as a solution to immersive online galleries. As a result I have entered study in serious games facilitate the user experience. During my studies in theories of serious game design, I am developing collaborations of art in health, using games to develop interactive experiences for rehabilitation.

The versatility of printmaking and the ease with which ideas flow through the interrelated processes has propelled me into the cross-disciplinary world. My work in time-based media, documenting ephemeral installations influences my work with the sculptural airships and their digital manifestations. While there is no end goal for my art practice and research, collaborations between the educational system, health and the community will not only engage innovative thinkers and creators but also bridge the gap of accessibility and knowledge for all people.