I work with space. Using text and familiar objects, which function like props, my installations prompt viewers to reconsider the boundaries of the spaces they occupy: A water fountain becomes connected to a nearby lake that serves as the city’s reservoir, or a gallery in a skyscraper is linked to a hill that shares its same elevation. Places that seemed disparate become connected and the viewer’s understanding of proximity and spatial orientation undergo a radical shift. This experience is the artwork. It is work that viewers feel, rather than see.
Central to my work is the way that each piece creates a distinct moment of transition from cognitive to physical experience. Viewers are presented with text that addresses their body’s presence in a space and its relationship to the perceived boundaries and physical barriers in their environment. This initiates them into a state of heightened awareness and prompts them not just to reconsider the space they’re in, but to feel their spatial orientation change.
Beyond increasing the viewer’s spatial awareness, my projects also speak to the social hierarchies that are reproduced through the segmented spaces in the built environment. In The Air You Displace When You Walk Into a Room, viewers are implicated as both participants and potential disruptors of these hierarchies. It is part of a series of 12 pieces, in which the air mass in a room is used as material to demonstrate how viewers create a space. Other pieces in the series include The Portion of the Air in the Room That You Have Inhaled and Exhaled That Has Also Been Inhaled and Exhaled by the Person Standing Across From You, and The Air That Will Vibrate With Sound Waves When You Shout to Someone on the Other Side of the Room. On the surface, these pieces simply involve the body’s relationship to a material. However, they also speak agency of each person, or multiple people working together, to affect the unseen, but essential, elements in an environment. By concretizing the body’s relationship to air, the project points to the way other factors that are often thought of as immaterial (authority, privilege, or social capital, for example) shape the spaces humans inhabit.
Each piece I make is an invitation for viewers to alter their perception of space and to gain perspective on the hierarchies that shape their environment and relationships. Viewers feel their perspectives shift as they generate new spaces that transcend familiar boundaries.