As an artist, I look for ways to explore human perceptions of non-humans, and use those findings as prompts to create site-specific work. Creative research provides inspiration for performance scores, images, videos, and installations. I attempt exchanges of meaning between material, site, humans and things, asking: can this moment expand to impact how we express meaning to one another?
In my research, I till my own visual and emotional landscape—gathering images, meaning and memes from blogs, network television, theater, art lectures and online video clips. I want my work to incorporate a self-reflexive dialogue with culture —how it is created, what meaning it produces, and how those meanings reflect on me.
A clip of a mainstream movie will lead to research on nuclear accidents and a live performance. The discovery of an iron-respirating bacteria will prompt explorations of sites related to that bacteria’s habitats, and develop into an installation or video. A suggestion, description or memory from someone with a relationship to a particular place will serve as a prompt for movement in that place, and a connective tissue between information and artwork. I reach across disciplines, forms and media in order to create the relationships I seek in the work. Research guides its ultimate realization. Throughout this process, I analyze my own relationships with nature and the non-human, and explore how those relationships connect to environmental stewardship. My process frequently involves interviewing individuals with personal or professional experience relevant to what I am exploring, and allowing their words to shape the forms of the work.
Ultimately I see my work as a series of exchanges of meaning between material, site, humans, semiotics, plants—with the hopeless goal of creating greater understanding between all entities.
As someone who has worked with appropriation, citation is very important to me. The following people and their work have had a significant and lasting impact on my practice and way of thinking, both conscious and unconscious. This list is continually updated.
Liz Ensz, Marissa Lee Benedict, Lindsey French, David Getsy, Kate Zeller, Mark Jeffery, Mary Jane Jacob, Claire Bishop, Douglas Pancoast, Trevor Martin, Andrew & Hannah Barco, Ian Garrett, Monty Python, Rebecca Duclos, Jennifer Doyle, SF Sketchfest, Betty Beaumont, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Amy Franceschini, Claire Pentecost, Laura Caroline Critical Art Ensemble, Forced Entertainment, Lin Hixson & Matthew Goulish, Stuart Sherman, Blast Theory, Pamela Howard, Deke Weaver, Andris Freibergs, Nancy Holt, Robert Smithson, the Harrisons, Margo Zalite.
Robin Deacon deserves special mention as someone whose pedagogy and performance practice have had a profound impact on how I approach my own work.