On Video: Video has surprisingly become my medium of choice, but not for the same narratives that I watch on television. I make narratives out of nothing. Video is a powerful critical tool in examining aspects of time, qualities of space and how I perceive them.
On Installation Art: Installation has taken on many meanings for me. At first blush, they seemed to be sculptures that refused to be “outdoors” sculpture, made of rock, metal or plastic. Upon second, third and fourth investigations, Installation is ever growing and evolving. Can my little creations grow to take up all of your attention?
My Art Process: Television, video and the Internet are mediums of information, sources of entertainment and a cultural force. Using such media as a foundation in creating art establishes a commonality with ideas of fine art, embraces the quotidian, activates the connections of mass culture and facilitates a dialogue between artist and viewer. The visibility of process in my work is a way for me to negotiate the space between the technical means that I use and the narrative intent. I hope by showing the mechanics of this negotiation, the dialogue between subject and form will resonate with the viewer.
I am interested in the problems of human computer interaction, especially interactive installations. Why does everyone feels compelled to wave at every installation that they walk past? I do want to walk along the careful divide between computational and aesthetic concerns. I often find myself bemused when someone categorizes me as an “emotional artist” or a “techie programmer.” Usually it is someone from the other side of the aisle making the sometimes absurd observation. I think that I once was told that I didn’t have an art background after I had completed my second bachelors and was enrolled in a MFA studio program. Ultimately designing a curriculum that integrates art theory and interaction design theory is a method that would be the successful for removing this division. I want to become a professor in a technology integrated art program. I want to teach, curate and create art that bends these lines.
Narrative, codes, structures, conscious examinations of the body, and the visibility of process and the changing technological landscape are reoccurring themes in my work. I mix current technology with earlier generations of technology, lining up video, pixel images and then placing them in an analog setting or recontextualizing the media by bringing in tropes. This type of friction between forms of visual media, literary works and pop culture references technological history. This combination demonstrates the malleability of represented reality as well as how close to the perception of reality digital media can come. The visibility of process in my work is a way for me to negotiate the space between the technical means that I use and the narrative intent. By showing the mechanics of this negotiation, the dialogue between subject and form will resonate with the viewer. Television, video and the internet are mediums of information, sources of entertainment and are accessible for many members of the public. Using such accessible and commonplace mediums as a foundation in creating art, builds a commonality between ideas of fine art and embraces the quotidian world.
When editing video or physically working on an installation, I just preserve the minimum amount that I find interesting. The longer that I work with material, the more ruthless I become with editing, paring down unnecessary seconds of video, removing material from a space. Each cut takes a different form. I usually use non-linear digital editing software when working with video, but occasionally I work with in camera editing. The difference between working with non-destructive techniques, undo buttons and in the physicality of handling the video camera and making irrevocable decisions with your video tape is heady. The results can be surprisingly stark. In video, it can result in a spare clip, whereas in a sculptural installation, it can give the objects an “overworked” appearance. This simple desire to cut down the material can create two different outcomes.
My organization of thoughts and information is perhaps the most interesting aspect that influences my work process and also the ideas that I find compelling enough to pursue. My process begins with terms, tree diagrams and words in a list. Narratives and concepts are extracted out of these fragments of thought and disjointed lists. Mentally and later, physically filing these associations that are made is when the narrative behind an installation or video is conceived. All of my thoughts are organized as a concept with several concepts branching out, like a node. For instance, when I developed the idea for “Dogwood + Cirrus”, an installation of a linen scroll with e video projection, the work has several associations attached. My fascination with clouds, spring; dogwood blossoms; and laundry are some of the more obvious connections to the piece. Ideas of the materiality of wax, tea and meaning of women’s labor are less directly connected ideas that have become a part of that “mental parcel.” Another installation, “Lethe” that was completed this year, took fragments of social education films that focused on stages in different women’s fictional lives and distorted them, either making them more abstract and undefined or by delaying frames of the video and re-enforcing the activities on the screen. The clips were short and had strong visual clarity, such that if the audio was turned off, the situation was unambiguous. The abstraction or repetition created either a disassociating, softening effect or an urgent, intensifying effect.