Master of Fine Arts
Bachelor of Arts in European intellectual history, Wesleyan University, 2002
Directed the Institute for Art and Civic Engagement at the School and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2007–09
Ran Transom Gallery, Durham, NC, 2005–06
Participated and organized in exhibitions and performance events in Durham, North Carolina; Hartford, Connecticut; Baltimore, Maryland; Oakland, California; Boston, Massachusetts; and Chicago, Illinois.
Experience at SAIC
What SAIC has done for me is to give me the language, the studio practices, and collegial conversation to connect with confidence my material and humanities research. I’ve been able to throw myself into new processes and tools for making, while holding onto, in their use, a critical conversation about what making means, and could mean, in contemporary society. But most of all, SAIC has given me the confidence to trust myself, to give space in my work for childlike wonder and awe at the world, to let art be an indulgence in imagination and radical thought for myself so that it can be an indulgence in imagination and radical thought for others.
I started my career as an artist as a playwright, and because of this history I like to see sculpture as a drama that reveals the frictions and micropolitics of our material reality. With an interest in fine craft, in particular woodworking, I like the language of "joinery," the skilled shaping of relations between materials and things, as an expanded metaphor for my practice whether I’m building wacky machines or site-specific performances.
Playwriting also suggests a way art can come from an interior place but be outward-looking—both through listening to material and its own needs (my actors!), but also outward toward other people, engaging with viewers as participants in my creations. I am profoundly grateful to have received a fellowship through SAIC, which will help cover the costs of starting an outward practice in Chicago, helping pay for residencies, purchase materials for ongoing and new projects, and fund applications necessary to present myself professionally to the Chicago community.
My work—large-scale sculpture and performance projects—begins with stories. Sometimes these stories come from myth (the ancient Greek myth of Acteon, for example) but more often odd stories discovered in history books that spark my curiosity and propel my long-term philosophic research in new directions. Whether a project begins with the story of a 1920’s Chicago-based occult publisher with an outsized influence on Jamaican folk religion or a first-century Egyptian temple engineer who produced religious experiences for the devoted with pneumatic technology, my primary interest is looking at specific cases that challenge our common understanding of who and what participates in the construction and continuation of the social. Currently, the story that has captured my obsessive curiosity is what could be called the cultural history of air. From pre-Socratic philosophers of "pneuma" to the giant energy-consuming air systems used to cool the data centers of our digital infrastructure, air is the ultimate repressed materiality of human sociality, of philosophic thought, of shared experience.
Disclaimer: All work represents the views of the INDIVIDUAL ARTISTS & AUTHORS who created them, and are not those of the school or museum of the Art Institute.