My research is motivated by an interest in the relationship between conflict, representation, and place—and the reconciliation of these within visual culture. I create multi-faceted, and conceptually- and formally-driven work that explores a variety approaches to working with image, data, and maps. I am interested in sharing my work nationally and internationally in wide-ranging public contexts—exhibitions, publications, and presentations. My goals are to connect meaningfully with a global community of reflective and critically-active artists, designers, scholars, and citizens. I am seeking opportunities to expand my experiences and to invite new influences into my studio practice.
Bypassing government restrictions, my web-based map, Version 1 of The Evolution of Silence, visualizes the impact of forty-one years of post-WWII nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site (a remote and highly-restricted area 80 miles north of Las Vegas, NV). The map focuses on Yucca Flat, an area within the Nevada Test Site, which is marked by hundreds of sinkhole craters caused by underground nuclear explosions. The non-linear map allows one to discursively explore this contested desert landscape—visual/sonic layers offer a emotional and disorienting perspective on the cultural and scientific view of the bomb, environmental transformation, and government activity. Revealed are fragments that point to the human toll of war and the ways violence affects land. I am interested in making critical interactive experiences that use aesthetics and chaos to disrupt what is seen and understood. For example, in this work, the viewer can actively dismantle what Susan Sontag describes as the ‘aggregate image of war’ (Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others, 2003) by manipulating the images on screen and personally confronting the scale of violence that has taken place.
A recent workshop at Penland School of Crafts in their letterpress studio enabled me to begin a new body of work that explores trace, ephemeralities, participation, and the visual/textual experience—Beauty Piece and Get Stuck in Trees. Also relevant to my current research is an older work, Once a Day (2007–2011), in which I developed an expressive method for charting visual language over time. The project is a series of web-based HTML/CSS collages that act to archive and interpret stories of conflict on the Web. Images are composed from the results of a forty-two separate automated daily Google News Alerts—a framework of words and phrases that I set up in 2007. This personal poetic search criteria merges with Google’s own algorithmic logic to form an experimental approach to generating data and revealing the dynamics of change.
I am also interested in open-ended collective models for art and design research and making—one example of this activity is a joint collaborative project, called Different Data, which I am pursuing with fellow graphic designers, Joshua Singer and Dan McCafferty. In Different Data we are focused on the cultural and natural dynamics of cities and land, and on the poetics and politics of collecting, generating, and visualizing data. In addition, I participate in and contribute to DesignInquiry (DI)—a nonprofit organization dedicated to exploring design research in team-based gatherings. I was privileged to serve on its Board of Directors from 2013–2015, and during that time worked on the planning of a multi-phase project in Detroit.
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