Most of my work has been conceptual in nature: start with a concept and execute it. But in 2019 I started to dig deeper into process. The execution had rarely been as charming as the idea so I turned my practice upside-down to begin with materials and without preconceptions, as a way to shake things up. Which materials was I drawn to? What could they do? Not do? Sort of do?
What, I asked, did they want to do? As in the “Put-Ons” series, I sought to somehow give the formal and material elements of a piece some agency in the matter of meaning. Letting the materials choose me and simply help them do what they do reveals their tendencies and proclivities. I find these pieces rather ghostly: out of the corner of the eye they look like they might be moving but are still when spied directly. While they seem to be animalistic or anthropomorphic, when I look hard at them they are just wrapping, coiling, bending, extruding, expanding, draping, and twisting. There are movements, vectors, hints of coming from a place and heading elsewhere. Is it possible to animate the inanimate?
And what can emerge when you take the artist’s concerns out of the work as much as possible, when a piece isn’t made as a vehicle of meaning? When we give the conscious layer a rest in favor of the unconscious and the subconscious? If anything, it may actually bring the process of making that I have closer to your process of experiencing.