I am a multiform conceptual artist working in performance, situation, conversation, publication, and installation. My work uses daily life as a site of deep research to address scales of intimacy: where patterns hold and break as group sizes expand. I began my work with a focus on the individual (The Bureau of Self-Recognition, 2011 – 2013), recently concluded a study of pairs (The Book of Everyday Instruction, 2015 – 2017), and am currently in-process with a project observing immediate families (Obligation To Others Holds Me In My Place, 2018 – 2020). I will continue to scale up gradually until I’m working at the scale of the metropolis.
My work investigates the potential of the everyday as a catalyst for intimacy. I’m captivated by the common denominators of the human experience: the things that people do always. I highlight the seemingly normal as a means of questioning its stability. Originally trained as a theater director, I still embrace aspects of Brecht’s idea of alienation: the discomfort that arises from calling attention to structure through naming or pointing. That disconnect appears most clearly for me as a rupture between ourselves, and what we do without thinking. These usually unnoticed acts serve as my primary method of production and inquiry. My work evokes the particular state of attention produced by being alone in public: the sudden sense of everything as fascinating, the strange anxiety between feeling invisible and suddenly becoming aware that you are seen.
Now I engage theater’s collaborative, multi-disciplinary form through various aspects of myself. Everything that I create – texts, situations, installations, performances – leads my participants through interconnected layers of considered engagement. In bringing these forms together, it is my desire to build a unified and multivalent world with a variety of entry points: each form serves both as translation and as layering, manifesting a density of inquiry while maintaining a flexibility for new voices and information to change the story. My hope is always that this continued questioning will encourage audiences, over time, to live differently – not in a grand sense, but simply and enduringly.
I have many influences, divided here into rough categories. For rigor, connection, and creep factor: Adrian Piper, Andrea Fraser, Vito Acconci. For use of language: Claudia Rankine, Frank O’Hara, and Stanley Brouwn. For structure/archiving: Group Material, Charles and Ray Eames. Additionally, as so much of my work draws from immediate experience of the world, I’m influenced by people I watch on the street, the group behaviors that manifest through internet culture, and signage in public places (even when meant for private eyes). Some elements of my projects always already exist, and it’s just a matter of finding them. I use familiar structures —bureaucracy, social rituals, therapy, and games — to inspire participation and destabilize assumptions. I am full of questions that I answer through shared play.
I study the depth of what is already at hand. My work is not seeking to invent, but to reveal. I believe in performance as participation, and installation as scrutiny. If I succeed, I will become the world’s most invisible performance artist: always present, but unseen. Without you, my work is nothing.