Everything you see here is a prop. Whether it is a glass of water, a grassy hill, or a piece of text, physical elements in my work are not intended as art objects unto themselves, but rather exist as a way to engage the viewer in a spatial experience. This experience is the artwork.
I ask viewers to envision the possibility of space as an uninterrupted continuum. While we typically only perceive small segments of space at a time, operating within the perceived boundaries and physical barriers of our built environment, my work disrupts this pattern. Using text, performance, and familiar objects, I ask viewers to envision the unseen elements in our environment, or to isolate physical experiences that often go unnoticed. I then use these observations to reveal connections among spaces that we usually perceive separately: A water fountain becomes connected to a nearby lake that provides the city’s water, 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 their own location in space undergoes a radical shift.
The spaces we create and inhabit, both by choice and by necessity, are tied to our power in society. We may move comfortably through spaces that reinforce our privileges while creating new spaces to undermine systems that do not serve us. In this way, the shifting spaces in my artwork reflect life in an unstable political climate. Making progress means working to embody multiple perspectives and it is this experience of shifting between perspectives, a cognitive exercise that suddenly affects your physical sense of space, that I capture in my work.
The shift viewers experience in my work is both mental and embodied. The link between cognitive and physical experience is central in all of my artwork, making viewer participation a frequent component in my projects. I create embodied experiences to engender an acute awareness of one’s position within the spatial continuum. Viewers do not just think about the ideas I present, but hold their breath, walk up hills, or roll down their windows to physically occupy the spaces suggested in my work. Even in non-participatory pieces, my titles reference street numbers or GPS coordinates as a way of suggesting the viewer’s location within the spatial continuum. Whether visible or not, the viewer’s body is always present in my work.
I see each piece I make as an invitation for viewers to alter their perception of space and to gain perspective on our relationships to institutions, our communities, and each other. Beyond just expanding our spatial awareness, I see this process as a way Viewers feel their perspectives shift as they generate new spaces that transcend familiar boundaries.