A theme in my art practice is to unsettle the viewer in order to spark dialogue. I have exhibited in galleries, museums, festivals and even an auction house. My interactive installations become stages where participants become immersed within the compelling ideas. For instance, Acclair (2004-2013) is a speculative project where I created a corporation that does brain-scanning for security clearance in airports. Media and an interactive installation was created to show how that would really feel. I created an environment with a trusted status “vetting lane” where anyone could become part of the rewarded elite by fully submitting to authority via brainscan. I received the Emerging Artist award winner at Zero1/ISEA 2006 for this work.
When I had the opportunity to show the service at the Van AbbeMuseum in Eindhoven, Netherlands, I redirected the service model. Instead of security clearance, users’ brains were employed for art valuation. I was approached by the Danish Broadcasting Company to participate in a documentary on the future of brain science so I installed the service at Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers in Copenhagen to evaluate their collection. Part of the documentary included an interview with the director who was uncomfortable with how such a service might affect his business, but was intrigued with a more egalitarian approach to valuing art.
From this work, I was selected for the Headlands Center for the Arts residency. I explored the idea of “post-racial” as Obama came to office. Large charcoal drawings depict human figures paired with video loops of an aspect portrayed in the drawings displaying shifting power dynamics. “Noogie” shows a white man in the headlock of a laughing shirtless black man, the video framing the moving fist on the white guy’s head. In “Hang,” a male figure hangs from a wall in office worker attire, the video framing his black shoes creating scuff marks on the walls, with sounds of his shoes hitting the wall as he struggles from falling.
I was then chosen for the “2×2 Solo” show at ProArts in Oakland where I showed LA Interchange (2010) — a speculative model of a real time monument to highway car crash victims. I used data scraped from the California Highway Patrol Incident Report website to trigger a giant water fountain at the interchange of the 10 and 110 freeways in downtown Los Angeles. I did field work on site, consulted with Caltrans and created a working, data-driven scale model of the freeway interchange and water fountain. Evidence included site plans and cost charts to pitch to the city planning commision. The idea was picked up by the LA Times and made its way onto the morning commute radio airways.
Recently my focus has been reacting to cellular and microbiology studies using ink drops on drum heads and other surfaces and 3D models and interactive environments that depict a “post-human” biotech future. This work is in its infancy, but I see its evolution into speculative works, such as ideas involving how we might adapt to climate change using bioremediation and biotechnology.
Previous work includes a series of psychological experiments or “tests” where props are posed and puppeted, producing photos, paintings and studies for installations. This in a way is a return to a soft sculpture practice.
Exhibitions in the US include Berkeley Center for New Media, San Diego State University, New Langton Arts, SomArts San Francisco, Southern Exposure, The Garage, The Lab, ProArts Oakland, Steven Wolf Fine Arts and SF Camerawork.