My motivations as an artist are fueled by a desire to put audiences inside of art experiences that reveal and question systems at the heart of 21st century issues. These experiences involve immersive sound and video, light, darkness, interactive objects, and emergent technologies that allow viewers to become entangled with art—and each other—in meaningful ways. Showing work to audiences is the most exciting and crucial component of my practice, and observing how they navigate my work is a form of research. Viewers are often collaborators in my work, using their bodies to engage installations that are sensitive and reactive to their actions.My artistic philosophy is influenced Barthes’ Death of the Author(1967), and I truly believe that art is made manifest through the viewer.Barthes writes that a work’s “unity lies not in its origin but its destination,” and the destination of my work is in the audiences who experience it. In fact, many of the forms used in my work do not present themselves until audiences perform actions that activate them.
My work is influenced by my background as a composer of electroacoustic music, and I am drawn to sound as an artistic medium because of its mystery. Sound is an invisible force that affects our physical bodies. It holds extraordinary potential as a mnemonic device, it can evoke intensely specific emotions, and it is naturally immersive and omnipresent. Sound is an ephemeral energy that further informs our visual experience. At times, I use it to disorient and overwhelm the viewer. At other times, I visualize and demystify sound so that audiences can better understand the power of sound as it functions within societal systems.
Systems theory plays a significant role in my research-based practice, and I am particularly interested in systems of control, classification, and epistemology. I put people inside of systems that are alive and moving, listening and watching, and reactive to the actions of the audience. When I create such scenarios, people not only think about a system, but physically see, hear, and feel how it responds to their presence. I think this visceral and interactive nature of my work makes the presence and structure of systems more poignant and recognizable when they appear in the world outside of my installations.
I am more interested in posing questions than prescribing answers in my work. I will end with some of the questions my work poses. My work often asks:
What happens when secular beliefs become sacred?
How can we visualize the invisible sounds and algorithms of contemporary culture?
What happens when censored information is hidden in plain sight?
What are the virtues and flaws of pattern processing in the human brain?
How do institutions handle the tension between rewarding rationality and creativity?
How are the tensions between rationality and creativity institutionalized?
When do patterns become so complex that they can no longer be called patterns?
How do social systems influence our beliefs and action?
How can we reveal, confront, and influence the systems we exist in?