Drawing, glass, and light: these three ingredients are the basis of my work. I begin with drawing, which sometimes becomes an end in itself. But often the images are sandblasted onto glass panels, lit along the edge by LED strips, and displayed in steel frames or stands, or suspended. The effect is to marry glass and light with image, so as to create a vibration between transparency and opacity, looking at and looking through. The glass functions simultaneously as a window, a mirror, and a surface imprinted with images. The images themselves are composed of lines (of poetry, of thought, of gestures), broken into dots or pulses. When the LEDs shine through the etched panels, the dots glow, forming multiple light-paths, making vivid the shifting perspectives that haunt our “readings” of the world.
In combining LED technology with traditional art-making techniques, such as drawing and sandblasting I explore technology’s potential as an expressive device, not an end itself. I’ve found that RGB LEDs not only add color to the images on the glass panels but also create an aura of color that reaches into the surrounding space. In recent work I am able to enhance the tonal shifts caused by changes in the ambient light, so that the colors alter subtly as the daylight fades, or with the shadows of passersby.
Recently, I have also been working in other media, including glass casting, gilding, and shooting bullets into bullet-resistant glass. These works should be seen first and foremost as individual pieces, but they can also be related thematically. One relevant theme is “Guns, Gold and Oil,” materials associated with the colonial domination of peoples and nature, and which are present in my new work. Other recent pieces — involving landscapes inspired by indigenous people’s place names; a robot/cricket conversation; and some poetic texts — convey the impulse towards a more collaborative relationship with nature. The poetic texts, like the bullet pieces, allude as well to the darkness haunting our own democratic spaces. Glass, light, and the play of shadow create shifts in perception, drawing these elements into spaces of reflection, literal and figurative, where we can engage with the contradictions being brought forth. I use bullets to make art, not war, but still highlight their devastating impact; I cast miniature oil cans in colorful glass, which comment ironically on “big oil” even as they glow luminously atop light boxes. I let illuminated fragments of poetry dance on glass surfaces, allowing the mind to find its own pathways through.