For me, art provides a pretext to dig in, be present, and dwell on the material and social world. Capitalism tells us to buy this, hurry up, move on, feel this way, look here, live like this, package that, stay on task, stay on brand, stay productive. As an artist, I’m invested in pursuing a practice that, in the words of artist and author Jenny Odell, “resists the attention economy” of 21st-century capitalism. By slowing down and paying attention to seemingly unspectacular things—ambiguous and ambivalent things, boring things, quiet and simple things, things that hover at the edges of the attention economy, and sometimes at the edge of perception—I create art that stretches my engagement with ordinary things and grapples with being situated in the world.
Rather than pursuing a single topic or focus, my creative practice revolves around taking time, allowing for intimacy, welcoming confusion, attuning to sensation, and suspending resolution. I am interested in where things meet, what happens when you listen to breath, what comes before an event, whether you can trace someone else’s path. In her book Ordinary Affects, Kathleen Stewart makes a case for paying attention to the miniscule, the momentary, the sensorial, and the scene. She writes, “Something throws itself together in a moment as an event and a sensation; something both animated and inhabitable.” Art can be a way to focus on the moment in which something is thrown together but also a way to throw things together—a place to animate or inhabit the world. Working across various media, including video, photography, sound, and installation, has allowed me to pursue multiple types of creative projects and aesthetic experiences. Taking cues from filmmakers and artists has helped me to develop a critical, slow, and interdisciplinary practice: the films of James Benning, Chantal Ackerman, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and the work of the Sensory Ethnography Lab have contributed to the way I approach and conceptualize moving images. Focused on industrial, urban, geopolitical, and domestic space, these filmmakers offer a subtle, contemplative, and attentive treatment of film—an interest in everyday life and experimental documentary.
I am interested in how an aesthetic experience can invite alternative ways of sensing and thinking about the external world. Philosopher Jacques Rancière asserts that aesthetics is a distribution of the sensible: a partitioning of the sayable and the seeable. In this understanding, politics and aesthetics operate along a similar plane, the sensible. My artistic approach has been informed by this notion and the belief that interventions into the sensible are doing something. Francis Alÿs provides a model for artistic intervention that invests in the slippage of aesthetics and politics. As an artist, I return again, and again, to his statement that “Sometimes doing something poetic can become political and sometimes doing something political can become poetic.” For me, Alÿs’s statement links back to Stewart’s ordinary affects and Rancière’s distribution of the sensible in a way that affirms that art—and seemingly insignificant things—can, and do, matter.