EDUCATION 2002 MFA University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 1999 BFA Millikin University, Decatur, IL
Divining by Ephemera (Shoddy Stagecraft)
My work mimics the psychosis surrounding crystallomancy and the performance of fortunetelling in the gypsy wagon. Like divining by crystal balls, my artwork deals with staring hard into ephemeral stuff --- Divining by Ephemera. The cast off detritus or ephemeral objects that recur in my work vary from Christmas gift wrap, zombie arms and illuminated nativity sheep to bargain bin upholstery and printed inkjet or vinyl stickers depicting everything from drunken frat boys to piled balsam trees in the forest. These objects, with hazy meanings, are meant to come and go in the viewer's eye much like the fading imagery that reveals itself then disappears to the scryer of crystals. My methodology/ideology is at all times Designed Detritus. In my work I look to hew base and useless ephemera into compacted, streamlined compositions much like the straining swirl of a Black Hole or Singularity Theory. Everything is accepted unconditionally and pressed together much like the junkyard trash compactor. Similar to the yarns and bewildering accoutrements in the crystallomancer's stagecraft, the layering of these decorative patterns and images has been built up to a point of inevitable charlatan-esque collapse.
The layering and compounding strata of detritus in my paintings/installations shows my theoretical interest in Image Singularity and Image Multiphrenia, or when visual culture and image hoarding weigh so heavily upon culture that culture starts to implode or fall back in on itself. I believe the ability to database images/imagery and the consequential anxieties that follow to be endemic and the challenge of our current generation. While imagery in the Modernist era was based on essentialism/reductionism, the present age is consumed with the task of processing a multitude of visual components. Metaphorically, as in the case of the crushing gravity inside the event horizon of black holes, unconditional compaction or visual singularity (post-editorialism) is common. Image Hoarding has and will exponentially grow to be paramount. With ever-expanding image databasing options such as Instagram, Shutterfly, Pinterest, Google Image Search, and photosharing through smartphones, total omniscience has become the goal. And with complete omniscience comes power. And with power comes the constant fear and anxiety regarding the lack thereof. Maintenance. Crumbling bricks of Babel. Cultish utopias waning into dystopias. Cowering despots in bunkers during a coup.
These are shrines to ornamental ephemera. These are Scopophilic Dragnets.