Floor Installation at the Philly Art Collective, 2019
Lately, I seem to have developed a fascination with lines, their construction, intersection, and meaning. This recent body of work explores the concepts of both abiding within and stepping outside of lines, created by oneself and by external entities and systems.
At a deeper level, this work explores concepts of duality; the black and white perspective on life, its ubiquity in our perceptions and characterizations, and the transcendence of this perceived reality in favor of a more holistic understanding, of which duality is only a part and a particular way of seeing that has been both useful and destructive to us.
The work explores notions of chaos and order and of perfection and perceived imperfection. This endeavor began with a single experiment, in which I attempted to create a certain type of clean image, but instead was greeted by a messier, seeping image, that at first disappointed me. The more I stared at it though, the more I began to feel something else, maybe joy. I began to explore image-making in this way with a predetermined method to create an image, guided by my own hand, but influenced in ways partially outside my control by the medium itself.
The act of making these works has been a meditation on living, revealing the ways I, and likely many others, seek to control outcomes and create our paths in life, only things do not always turn out as we initially think they should. Through examination and awareness, however, the perceived flawed outcome may actually contain a beauty, power, and perfection that is beyond our conscious ability to create. I believe we are in a way assisted by the universe in ways not fully understood to us in each moment.
This relates in some ways to the concepts of flow which have recently become popularized, especially those put forth by Sky Nelson-Isaacs, which claim that if we act purposefully and follow our highest purpose and joy in the moment, we are assisted in our creation by a responsive universe. This is too long a topic to address fully here, but I believe in some version of that narrative, although my view takes a more decidedly metaphysical stance (if that is even the best word to describe the nature of reality that I see).
This particular installation also features prominently the structure of the intersection and cross. The symbol of the cross is ubiquitous in many spiritual traditions all over the world, however my particular use refers primarily to a simplified version of Native American spirituality in which the symbol carries the meaning of the four directions, four winds, and four elements. To me, it is also symbolic of the four dimensions. Walking within the bounds of these lines, or without, one has the feeling of approaching an intersection, in which we have multiple options about which direction we would like to take as we move. We may desire to step outside the lines, or stop movement altogether.
I would like the viewer to experience this sometimes uncomfortable feeling of taking the risk to choose an unknown path, which is something we do most of the time, yet don’t contemplate the ways seemingly small choices can impact our entire lives. Getting back to the symbolism of dimensions, there are generally agreed upon, four dimensions to reality that we recognize (although some mathematicians and metaphysics claim there are many more). This installation represents all four, with the 2-D works, 3-D, 4-D of physical presence, and I would add that there is another unseen 5th dimension, which permeates and animates all, which is consciousness. And the viewers in attendance bring and represent this dimension with their individual consciousnesses and presence.
It is my hope that the viewers and attendees will enjoy this symbolic experience.