I am interested in ideas and how they are constructed and function within the social structure in which they are created. Focusing on objects as symbols for ideas, my work seeks to uncover collective constructs as the by-product of social, political and economic exchanges, choices, and contexts. By deconstructing, reassembling, and recontextualizing these symbols into new objects/imagery, my work attempts to simultaneously question the validity of the social constructions, while acknowledging their importance and power in society.
My current work is based in metaphorical imagery from three sources:
Metaphors for distribution for goods and services: These systems of distributions provide the interface between consumers and producers of goods and services and are controlled by private individuals. This system forms a source of power that allows the manipulation of scarcity and need. If scarcity is one of the foundations to our economic system (valuing goods based on supply and demand), then those that control the systems of distribution are positioned to benefit from scarcity (actual, perceived, or created) and provide an incentive to ensure a level of scarcity continues to exist.
Metaphors for distribution of ideas and information: These systems (often described using the image of the Òmarketplace of ideasÓ) create interfaces that allow the dissemination of ideas and information. These privately owned outlets have the power to control the content of what the ideas are produced, re-produced, and what information ultimately reaches the ÒconsumerÓ. Whether advertising, political messages, or propaganda, those that control the systems of distribution of ideas, control the conversation.
Metaphors for the promise of technology: Throughout the modernist period, technology was imbued with the power to solve most human troubles. No matter what the problem, there was the idea that there would always be a technological solution. Yet for every solution realized, examples can be found where technology has created new social/environmental problems. For all its modernist and utopian promise, technology has been used for social control, political control, market control, and a myriad of other corrupt purposes. One has only to look at the weapons manufacturing, pesticide industries, agribusiness, and the censorship of the flow of information from the internet to see a promise unfulfilled and perverted.
In this body of work, I explore the ideology of technology as the source of solutions for social problems (both real, invented, and imagined). The technology presented is firmly grounded in the utopic solutions of the mid twentieth century and the belief in the promise of technology. This work explores the construct of consumer/supplier and itÕs implication of domesticity, subservience, reliance and the perceived (if not actual) imbalance in power. This series of sculptures investigates fictional systems of distribution that provide the viewer references to past actions, equipment for events either historical or prospective, and allusion to dependence, rationing, and scarcity. This work has the sense of a forgotten or undiscovered manufacturer/inventor whose sole purpose is to create objects that defy classification.
In practice, I frequently use found objects, blown glass, and industrial materials to create symbolic imagery. My choice of materials, the method of construction, and the mode of representation are determined by the larger idea and the inherent cultural connotation that the material provide. I employ duplication, repetition, multiples and an emphasis on material to evoke the feeling of factory or mass produced objects. Inspired by and parodying scientific devices, industrial machinery, delivery bikes, and childrenÕs toys; my imagery is a mixture of the metaphoric, absurd, ironic, and dystopic.