We are shaped and mutated by our physical environment from microbes to ozone. Families provide not only the genetic code but also patterns and mantras that are the foundation of our daily decisions and emotional roots. As Americans, we see hundreds of marketing messages per day that inform what we view as normal. Today's technology allows us to be in one place mentally, while physically in another. We are constantly manipulated and transformed. I am interested in this constant state of flux and the effort by which we try to control our individual and social realities.
Water is a lens to see another perspective and is the tool for my latest work. My state of awareness is no more factual than the one distorted by water and processed by the digital camera. The experience of gathering the resource images is about juggling control and abandon, playing with light and buoyancy, training breath and allowing the eye to see, against what the mind believes.
My most recent show was called ISLAND. The work in this show responded to a literary piece, Island, by Aldous Huxley. In the book, The the mynah bird character who inhabits the fictional utopian island called Pala repetitively screeches, "Attention, here and now boys, Attention, Here and Now." You see, the inhabitants of Pala have taught the mynah birds this mantra in order to remind themselves to stay present- a way to relinquish negativity and judgment.
This struck me as particularly poignant for this moment in history in which we are living right now. This moment is rife with environmental destruction, over-population, coercive politics, and an increasingly militarized society that cares more for superficial soundbites and ego than real information or others. The rise in popularity of Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World is a direct correlation to the ideological narcissism of our current president and the apathy towards thoughtfulness and diplomacy. I see no better time than now to seek truth through science, to oppose negativity through inner acts of nonresistance and to examine our own consciousness.
So in a way, this novel was my mynah bird, reminding me of the principals that I hold dear and concepts I have been exploring in the last five years. My work uses water as a lens to see an alternative perspective. The goal is to challenge one's concept of absolute and find value/pleasure/learning in all the "in-between" moments. So as the mynah bird chirps "Attention, Attention," I ,too, am reminding myself to pay attention.
Now is the time to step back and examine what we're doing as individuals and as a society and cultivate a state in which our actions are effortlessly in alignment with the flow of life.