A world we have not-yet-seen but already know
A desire to acknowledge our uncertain futures and an understanding that we urgently need to prepare, adapt and reimagine new ways of thinking and being lies at the heart of my practice. The questions I ask and the choices I make in my work are driven by the uneasiness of today’s multiple emerging crises. Physical disability and post-traumatic growth, outcomes of surviving local flooding, are also fundamental to creative decision-making. In absurdly small ways, I am compelled to offer practical tactics for survival or propositions for a better, not-quite-familiar, future.
My approach to art-making has evolved overtime to become a series of investigations into the posthuman predicament. Underpinning my questioning is an understanding of today’s historical moment in which all matter: discovered, exposed, mapped, commodified and with a shared vulnerability of an unknown future, is united. I see today’s generation as caught between being in the dark, being culpable and being ambivalent.
My response to this view of a displaced and dismantled subject human manifests both as a preoccupation with notions of insecurity, collapse and futility as well as a desire to point to political and social transformation. What has come to matter in my work is mutuality and inclusivity in the broadest sense. In the encounters I seek, and engineer, subjectivity and community are not the prerogative of human but viewed as emerging from the assemblage of human and nonhuman.
I like to work with materials and locations which have little, or no perceived value. Found materials, everyday ephemera and the in-between or intersecting sites in our surroundings that are overlooked. The significance of these materials, regardless of their aesthetics or temporality, is their wider invisibility.
The development of ideas is driven by curiosity. Structured experimentation and a process of assembling and re-assembling fulfils an ongoing desire to embrace the notknown. I am on the lookout for combinations and situations in which all elements and materials become dependent on each other for the work to function. United and intra-connected they reveal themselves in new, unexpected or forgotten ways. I recognise that materials and things are active agents in the creative process and in the work itself. These are propositions for inclusivity in the broadest sense and I want to make clear that the work is as much about the invisible as the visible.
My interest in how the work engages and affects the viewer, and how meaning emerges from this, is positioned within the current discourse on new materialism and theories of affect. I am contextualising my position with writers such as Jane Bennett and also with the political theorist, Brian Massumi. Massumi states that to affect and to be affected is to be open to the world and change. It is this conceivable change he argues that makes affect immediately proto-political. I also draw inspiration from posthuman theorists such as Karan Barad and Rosi Braidotti and from works of art in which the understanding of subjectivity shifts from a purely cognitive process to include a physical and a felt knowledge.
Last reviewed Feb. 21