An Art Manifesto (in progress)

  1. At the core of my creative practice is a deep commitment to creative freedom and fearlessness.
  2. I believe that an artist should be able to use any style to explore any question any time. This attitude is in active resistance to the idea that an artist must choose a "style" and stick to it-as though we are one dimensional characters living un-dynamic lives.
  3. I believe in the power of intuition and that the creative impulse is largely trans-rational. I believe in making aesthetic decisions because they "feel" right and that the best response is direct and uninhibited. Because of this, I usually don't know where the artwork is going...or if it is any good.
  4. I believe in the power and importance of making crappy art. Learning and progress comes through playful risk-taking and wasting lots of art supplies.
  5. I believe in work. Art is a blue-collar discipline.
  6. I believe that while there is a lot of well designed and technically proficient artwork being made, the best art always has a great concept. The best concepts are deeply personal, well thought out, and open ended.
  7. Great concepts are great questions.


Artist Statement: The Hakomi Series

I utilize the practice of traditional printmaking to explore my encounters with Nature and to ask questions of how identity is interconnected with these experiences.  Living in the west, I am continually reminded of the imminence and immensity of the natural environment. Artistically I am drawn toward canyons, high mountain lakes, the fecundity and delicacy of wildflowers, the mysterious nocturnal presence/absence of moths, water droplets that hint at atomic structures or multiverses, bees, toads, fish...I use neural scans as a symbol of the doubts I have about the accuracy of my perceptions of these wondrous phenomena.

"Hakomi" is a Hopi word meaning, "How do you stand in relation to these many realms?" or "Who are you?" It is also a psychotherapeutic process where the self is explored as a web of interconnected parts that change and evolve over time. I understand “…these many realms” to exist both internally and externally, a never ending series of perceptual horizons.

The Hakomi Prototype series are experiments where I bring together any and all of my varied visual images. After hand cutting the images, I re-assemble them using clock mechanisms to create a multi layered moving collage. I want to examine how the components reorganize and re contextualize themselves over time. Traditional printmaking processes allow me to simultaneously use the same visual information in several different locations in one or more compositions.     


Artist Statement: The liminal

I am also fascinated with what anthropologists call liminality. Associated with traditional ritual practices, liminality is a psychological state-of-being where the participant is brought to be between concrete structures of identity. A kind of existential threshold. It seems that today we exist in a permanent liminal state.

In my body/mind, this sensation is usually one of slipping into space, but having no particular direction. It can also be like falling, but falling sideways or perhaps up. It is not possible to tell which. There are no useful signs or cairns to give directions. No concrete ideologies to cling to. Just infinite slippage from concept to concept and from instant into instant. It is disconcerting and, at times, can be downright terrifying.

But, there are also moments of buoyant equanimity. These sensations usually happen during an encounter with nature. Times when my breath is relaxed, rhythmic, and easy and the endless machinations of the brain are distracted. It feels like being inside a question that has no words. A question that points to a crack where light gets in. What is illuminated is a new threshold. One that reveals the simultaneous imminence and immensity of being. The crack can take the form of a canyon, a morning glory, a dandelion, or moth. The threshold is perhaps a rose or a weed. This is the place where I like to begin my images. 

I attempt to get at this sense of liminal in-betweenenss in a variety of ways. At times I employ the lost and found marks that results from the drillpoint technique to question the natural forms I am presented with. At others I will surround natural forms with the rhythmic undulations of concentric circles. These circles are a simultaneous metaphor for atomic structures, parallel universes, and the interactions of waves on a pond that are a result of raindrops. 

More and more we are coming to understand how we construct our identities. This identity construct is a result of collisions between our family's traditions and the broad spectacle of popular culture. And we have the freedom to continually re-invent our "selves" whenever we wish. This is a good thing, but it also seems to have a price. As we consciously invent a new self, we are subtly aware that we are no one at the core. We are physically located somewhere, but live digitally everywhere. The "now" is divided in infinitesimally small nano-seconds. Culturally, we seem to have left ourselves with no notion of a historical mandate for our future. Consequently we find our “selves" living as somebody/nobody, located somewhere/nowhere/everywhere, at no-time in particular.