My work often deals with simulation and refinement, utilizing highly processed materials removed from the context of their origin, to create a synthetic experience. At an increasing rate, the primary means in which the world is experienced is through mediation. Simulation has become the surrogate for primary experience, whether via the computer, suburbia, or NutraSweet®. This work, in many ways, is synonymous with Disney World or Las Vegas, as highly refined and artificial environments. I find myself simultaneously seduced by the refinement and purity of the materials, while being disgusted by the implications of their refinement. While the sculpture aims to potentially simulate an environment, the drawings serve as illustrations, or as a postcard or souvenir of a strange, lost world that happens to look a lot like the world we live in. Campers, symbols of freedom and escape, move through complex highway systems in an attempt to reconnect with an experience known as nature.
In a broader context, this work explores the line between the biological and mechanical, using popular, iconographic references. The idea of a distinction between the biological and the industrial, or the human and the digital, and the blurring of that distinction, is explored both as subject matter in the work and also in the production. The drawings are composed digitally and rendered with marker on a homemade computer-controlled drawing machine that attempts to mimic the hand, or cast doubt on the distinction between the hand and the machine. In a similar sense, the foam landscapes are sculpted with an adapted version of the drawing machine, having been digitally modeled and rendered through a computer, numeric code, and a hodgepodge of hardware store components, which constitute a crude mechanical fabrication device. While the aesthetic of the work is that of mass production and the absence of the hand, the work, itself, is clearly a synthesis of ideas and processes that would not typically originate in the consumer environment, resulting in a displaced hybrid.
In the process of being seduced and repulsed, of distinguishing the biological from the digital, there exists an environment for dialogue. In this environment, the dialogue is neither either/or, but a complex system of nuanced relationships that are full of both potential and hope, and significant moral and ethical questions.