I begin with a simple motive to add to the beauty in the world. I felt an intrinsic pull into the arts from a young age and pursued several disciplines. Growing up in Illinois surrounded by nature landscape and sounds, my imagination and senses were trained to rhythms in perceptions and my desire to mountains and sea. The ways art creates knowledge (epistemologies) around perceptual senses of space and time (proprioception and chronoception) held my interest until I realized eros and the ways places make people were the centrepieces on my curiosities about the real, time, and dreams. Over time I learned I wanted to create sublime timescapes and used still and moving images to do so. I felt art works on the fabric of whatever is and that my work with eros engages in conversations on our relationships and the ways places make people, with the landscape, our bodies, and each other during technocratic times. The artworks nurture reverence for beauty and serves to engage parietal aspects of perception.
The theories I am most occupied by are: histories happen on purpose, the metaphysical and material are related and the divide a myth, and the invisible senses of places make people. These areas of thought and philosophy are largely influenced by growing up in the Midwest where artists in Chicago used to seek solace from summer heat, near a nuclear power plant, Native burial grounds, and a place with strong values in conservation. I would later come to learn the complex history between the Midwest and Japan. My great great grandmother, Ellen Amman and her sister Harriet Sündstrom, as well as the Bavarian and Venetian conflicts came to my awareness as I probed the lineage of family history. I continually find myself creating at an intersection of Eurasian culture.
As human life continues to morph through technologies and sciences, I noticed the effects of social policies of individualism forming separations. By focusing on a crusted layer of ideas, the deeper wells fed by forms of heartfelt beauty birthed crisis of psyche and emotion. The photographic lens, literally, historically, philosophically and psychologically became the way I worked to give structure to chronoception and proprioception. Eventually multi-media installations involving vision and body expanded the solitary practice of psychologically oriented nature photography influenced by Minor White and Edward Weston toward my roots with performance and developing practice with handcraft.
In understanding that psyche means spirit, the deployment of social policies through systems of thought exposed a covert conflict tactic. My personal perspective aligns with organising around virtues and principles as they tend to endure. While ideas and emotions employ an analytical and systemic approach, I worked to find ways to champion interests in traditions and rituals in service to healthy maturation of knowing. By working with embodied functions, I noticed the ways social policies morphed behaviours to create detrimental patterns. For example, the fluxing boundaries with surveillance, social and dating apps, disruption economies, the rise of petty tyranny, thought and disability policing, and the slippage in undermining healthy structures to create a simulacra of pseudo-hypnogogic state of awareness. While bettering material conditions improves the appearance of life, the qualities of life that illuminate the mind from the beauty in the heart arise from within. The fissure between the virtual and real can conflate or dissolve. Therefore the nearly-universal experiences of the sublime in awe and reverie, invited me to bring value to traditions in observing nature and ways the internal arts can be realised in the technocratic present.
We become what we practice and develop where we focus. Therefore the Vision-Body relationship brought my work with cameras and poetry into the realm of the senses, the tactile and performed. The research of Elaine Scarry and Robert Sapowlsky gives words to what I believe people have awareness of deep within their bones.
Seeing the body as the generative force in cognition takes up a biological way of reasoning. Biology already being physical, informs materials and perception. This bottom-up perspective often confronts the top-down route (ideology). The bottom-up understanding affords greater agency in creating beauty and harmony as mother nature ultimately runs this show regardless of ideological understandings or misunderstandings. An ideologically driven or bottom-down motive has merit as well, though as defined clearly in Hito Stereyl’s work, a favoured mode of psychological warfare.
In a world mitigated by telematic interfaces, I persist in making art because of its unique ability to work on subtle layers of culture. While culturally antagonistic trends in art continue, I aim to work in service of beauty, common ground, vitality, healing, harmony, and truths. Since truth is a touchy word, here’s an example: a notion humans are born and leave alone denies the reality there are usually a mother and father and supporting group of people involved in various capacities throughout the process. The notion of aloneness pervades social policies deployed in subtle and persistent methods through media, professionals, and often culture. Therefore, art’s purpose and place in creating knowledge stronger than ideas, can nurture the psyche with truths, that water the heart with beauty.
After years of wrestling with images and questions with free-will, determinism, subjectivity, and agency, I saw an entry point through technology and sciences to reorient my visual work materially and performatively in joining images, performance, textiles, and magnetic resonances (or the ways the interior of material phenomena is depicted using the quantum mechanic effect of oscillating dipole frequencies). The project has a working title of Magnetics In-Material and serves to create a common ground for people who live in places and can relate with each other through seeing and sensing the tactile qualities of the invisible and eminent energies in nature elements.
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