In light of our climate changing, I have growing uncertainty and deep concerns for what the future holds; this is reflected in my work, which explores themes that range from the impacts of climate change, to the sustainability of water supply, and excessive waste production. I work predominantly in object-based performance and site-specific installation, incorporating social engagement, photography, audio/video, and reuse of materials as defining artistic elements. With the onset of the pandemic, my practice has evolved to embrace lens-based forms as a primary platform. Regardless of the medium I am working in, my work is designed to activate specific sites and engage a public to relate and share experiences with climate change, sustainability, and reuse.
My recent body of work, Superimpositions: Wildfires In My Landscape is a conceptual animated photography series. And involves my superimposing found images documenting recent wildfires onto photographs I took in regions I am deeply connected with, which have not, to this point, been directly impacted by climate fires. The overlays unfold over a prolonged period of time to convey as premonitions, reflecting my thoughts and fears that similarly devastating fires could easily happen in these regions.
My performance work is often site-specific and socially engaged in nature. And my method for engaging a public involves using props, duration, and action as devices that embrace the absurd and engage the everyday; which comprises of having these elements appear so significantly out of place that people become curious and compelled to talk with me. I also use duration to generate scale and convey endurance in performance. The best example of this is with my piece, One Year and Twenty-Four Days of Fishing, for which I carried a fishing rod and wore rubber boots everywhere, every day, for over a year. The scale of the project was increased by the amount of time I committed to it – the number of interactions increased over time and the extended duration made the project a more enduring and ultimately, transformational experience.
Working with salvage became a significant aspect of my work when I began buiding docks as platforms for socially engaged performance projects. When creating sculptural objects that function as props in my performances or components of a site-specific installation, it is important to me to use refuse as my material and to make the objects/prop appear as true to life as possible. My reason for this is two fold – a realistic appearance of the object/prop helps to emphasize the absurd nature of the action I am performing and it also demonstrates that one can create impeccable objects out of refuse.
Shortly before the pandemic was upon us, my performance practice expanded, to incorporate additional performers, choreography, and structured dialogue, while continuing to engage specific sites and cultivate opportunities for public engagement. Such as in my piece, Harbinger, for which I directed and led a group of 13 performers through areas that would be flooded, incorporating choreography that utilized prop, signalling gestures, and conversational prompts to engage the public and our surroundings.