My art practice explores my role as a consumer and laborer. By deeply examining ordinary objects I am able to further identify with the complex systems of industry and manufacturing. After spending years working in a Best Buy warehouse, I became interested in the trajectory of products from construction to consumption. By participating in this trajectory, it became apparent that my relationship with these items had changed. Sorting, stocking, classifying and labeling the same products from week to week stripped away the power of advertising and culturally developed ideas about value. Through overexposure, I eventually perceived expensive products as simply material.
To further break down cultural associations with these common objects, I began to disassemble them and investigate their many component parts. I chose items that are so integrated into our constructed world that they almost become invisible. These objects include a smoke detector, alarm clock, flashlight, keyboard, and thermostat.
While researching material culture I created installation and performance work responding to Bill Brown’s essay, Thing Theory. In this text Brown makes a distinction between objects and things. While the object is a material form, things are the cultural, historical, and ideological intentions that humans prescribe to objects. Objects become things when a meaning is attributed to them that surpass their materiality. These objects are no longer recognized as mere configurations of matter but an amorphous set of ideas. This is how objects become fetishes, relics, or idols. In the manufacturing process, objects are assembled into things. I mirrored this process by disassembling things back into a series of objects and stamping the ink covered pieces onto receipt paper and stacks of copy paper. The individual parts no longer refer to their cultural function and they return to their objective state.
I use photography and digital collage to create ornate patterns that mimic this repetition and overabundance. We are naturally attracted to visual pattern and audible rhythm. Making patterns from the mundane material components of these electronic objects aestheticizes and abstracts them in a way similar to the change that products undergo through their marketing and design. From a distance, the photographic prints are easily understood as repeating shapes and colors. Stepping closer, the substance of the images are revealed to be an innumerable network of parts. Furthering this line of inquiry, I began using physical objects to create patterns and compositions in place of photographic representation. Collecting scraps of discarded car wires from garages around the city, I created various sculptures and installations by braiding, weaving, and stapling.
While much of my body of work draws from the same pool of objects, the interplay between attraction and monotony shifts. Constructed from many assembled images, symbols, and objects, these works navigate through phases of perception from manufacturer to consumer.