A group of 6 participants and a facilitator meditate in a small yoga studio. They focus deeply within themselves, connecting to what is true within. The guru strikes a singing bowl to activate the space in which the student meditators radiate their spiritual essence. This aura expands as their guru pulls more and more from them.
Like a circus hypnotist, he controls the room. They are like baby birds, stretching their necks back, singing in order to receive. He gives them their medicine, their sustenance. He has created in them the need that only he can fulfill.
Below, workmen enter the building’s crawlspace to perform their task. It is down here, in the bowels of the structure, where the guts are found. The laborers work impassively at uncovering and digging out the roots. This is the real work. Unattached and uninterested, they perform the function of digestion and defecation thus providing the foundation upon which the entire artifice is built.
Alter is a sculptural object which exist on two planes; above/below, spiritual/carnal, knowledge/instinct. The piece presents itself as a compacted stage set.
It functions as an automated body where the sound from the singing bowl above travels through the pipes (digestive system) to be transformed below within the bass/amplifier feedback structure.
As the feedback builds within the system, the fragility of the sculpture’s construction presents itself. It is a structure perpetually on the verge of collapse. The self-regulating robotic scheme “plays” the bowl and bass guitar to the point of extreme instability. It also automatically adjusts its strikes based upon the levels of feedback present. As the buildup clears, the sculpture moves back to stasis from where the process repeats itself.
Legand of Petosogay
(2017) dimensions variable
Three channel video, dirt, mannequins, brochures, Petoskey stone
The Legend of Petosogay is presented as an environmental lecture where a speaker presents 3 conflicting interpretations for the existence of the Petoskey stone: Native American, Evolutionist, and Evangelical Christian.
Just behind, and out of range of the lecture, two young children are mesmerized by the stone. Brochures explaining the dangers of misinterpretation are on hand for parents and moral educators.
This installation is part of an ongoing research project exploring The Garden of Eden. The defining themes of the myth, sin, a desire for knowledge, the deceitful nature of the feminine, and the apple as the psychoanalytic “lost object of desire” play out in the context of Northern Michigan where children and families collect Petoskey stones.
The region becomes an embodied Eden. Its diverse ecology, natural beauty, midwestern values, and internal cultural/political conflicts open themselves up for an investigation into gender roles, faith, subjugation, and the family unit.
"You Call This A Party?!"
(2018) Performance approx. 10’
The work investigates the limits of consent and cultural systems we use to define it. Are there limits to how its applied based on gender difference? How can it be offered consciously and unconsciously? The piece also explores the ways in which entitled masculinity is sustained and reinforced societally and how its burden is perpetuated.
An unconscious young man is maneuvered and manipulated into performing a piano composition for a small audience. Two female assistants struggle to get to conform to the rules of the of production. Due to his dead weight and awkward shape, they must abandon all nuance in their struggle to get him to fulfil his obligation. Due to the man being in an unconscious state, they become the operators using him as an object in their performance.
(2017) 18’ 27”
Single Channel HD Video with sound
Breathe is an exploration of masculinity, aging, and power within a symbolic domestic unit.
As familial roles begin to break down, paternal rituals are re-interpreted while masculinity transforms and recedes. Power is re-distributed. The patriarch struggles to maintain relevance. He is a pretend old man and his mask works to embody his power while simultaneously hiding the true identity of its bearer.
Upon inspection, a younger man is embedded into and constrained by the family dining table. This alter, the site of ritual and ceremony is a place of learning and education for him. The table further acts to divide the space in two; the above/below, the light/dark, the seen/unseen. At first, this division obscures what occurs below but then re-presents what happened previously. We are given a glimpse of a hidden, secret world of new possibilities and transformations.