Elephants in the Room

projection, onion skins, nutsage, vinyl, wax paper, mesh

project description

I always welcome the opportunity to sink into a timeless exploration with long-time collaborators Roxanne Steinberg & Oguri. In this mini installation it was interesting to find spaciousness even within a very compact container.  These are the thoughts I shared with the dancers in preparation:

1. In Jonathan Haidt’s book “The Righteous Mind” he proposes a dichotomy shift from emotional vs. cognitive to that of intuitive vs. reason. He embodies this model in the image of an elephant (automatic processes) and a rider (controlled processes) where the latter is at the service of the former. “If you want to change people’s minds, you’ve got to talk to their elephants.” This adds a wonderful twist to “elephant(s) in the room.”  I ended up using that as a title.  I think it might be an ongoing underlying theme for future work.

2. While digging up my front lawn, I stand in awe of Nature’s engineering of nut grass (weed) that resembles thickly networked neurons (thousands of them) ever-ready to emerge from dormancy. They are built for survival under any circumstances.
3. I have been mulling over the reports of the impending ramifications of the thawing of the permafrost and its release of carbon and an exhaustive timeline of reactivated organisms.  I think the window projection scrim I just made might have something to do with this.  The idea of vigorous dormant release relates to the nut grass as well.

I am a media artist and a maker. My formative training was rooted in the more plastic arts of drawing, painting, printmaking, installation, music and movement. I am particularly interested in how the messy, organic, tactile, unpredictable, physical, analog world meets up with the experientially expansive nature of digital technologies. With a focus on video projection environments for installation and live performance, I have been intent on pulling the moving image out of the computer screen, off the cinematic big screen and into space. Every pixel of light is subject to the physics and optical phenomenology of the materials I work with and environments I create. Some have referred to my installations as “3D without the glasses,” where the viewer is left to wonder, “What AM I looking at?” It is significant to me that this exploratory wonderment happens within the same physical space that we occupy (non-virtual).

I have been the recipient of support by the Irvine Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Center for Cultural Innovation, City of Los Angeles, Pasadena Arts Council, The Music Center, Durfee Foundation, REDCAT, University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA), The Getty Center, Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound (SASSAS) ,Dublab, Newtown, Turbulence.org, CalArts, and The Center for Experiments in Art, Information, and Technology. I was selected as a recipient of a 2013 COLA Fellowship, 2014 CCI Investing in Artists Grant, 2015 Metabolic Studio Chora Council Grant and a 2015 CHIME Grant.

>>Return to Dissolving Sites