Clusters gather on top of me: digital files, reflections of my image, panoramas of my environment, stuffed dolls circling my bedroom, words I’ve heard, garments that are mine which are made to surround a body that doesn’t feel mine. I’ve looted all this stuff, and my piles are negotiations of agency. I don’t belong to myself, but look at all these things that I’ve claimed.
Making anything begins with a process of rummaging. It’s important to honor this process, to understand its nonsensical nature, and to consider the autonomy of the the things that have been hoarded: open circles that will keep themselves vulnerable. I don’t feel comfortable with statements, so content is manifest as inquiry, song, suggestion and as dead-end exercises. I’m drawn to objects that exist precariously: scrap wood, image files, trinkets, copy paper, linen. One of my sculptures hangs over my bed. A piece of laser cut cardboard is a string of all-caps Comic Sans, jammed together into what looks like a necklace. Every morning I get up and it gets caught in my hair…. one day I’ll walk around a capital E on my head and I probably won’t notice. There’s fecundity in this natural tendency towards vulnerability and loss.
In Giorgio Agamben’s book, The Coming Community, he introduces his concept of “whatever singularities” by illustrating Saint Thomas’s perspective on the deaths of unbaptized children: “The greatest punishment- the lack of vision of God thus turns into a natural joy: Irredeemably lost, they persist without pain in divine abandon. God has not forgotten them, but rather they have always forgotten God. (…) Like letters with no addressee, these uprisen beings remain without a destination. Neither blessed like the elected, nor hopeless like the damned, they are infused with a joy with no outlet.” This joy in a world of loss is the lifestream of my process. I pose the questions: Can wandering bring joy? and hope? How do I find places of respite? And how can it be shared?
A recent piece, “Esti” deals with the suicide of a fictional prepubescent girl in 1970’s Eastern Europe. We encounter Esti as a death record and a lump of files spread out haphazardly on the floor. The files themselves are arranged to look like they’ve been intervened with by something outside of their system. They’re covered in drawings, painted over with whiteout, and obscured by vellum paper. A film is projected over a box, which narrates the invasion of spirits over this archive. The rigid framework of a hall of records is broken, and instead the piece focuses on the urgency of the subject’s dreams and memories. Later on, I narrate the ascension of the little girl into heaven, holding hands with spirits of boys from the future, listening to electronic music.
Everywhere in my work, systems are created to show what they cannot contain. Wandering turns into a refusal to carry out the straight path, and a rift in logic allows all sorts of things to commingle in ecstasy.
“From Limbo.” The Coming Community, by Giorgio Agamben and Michael Hardt, University of Minnesota Press, 2013, pp. 5–6.