Glass, light and drawing have been my primary preoccupations for many years. I combine LED technology with traditional art-making techniques, such as drawing, glass casting, and sandblasting. I utilize the technology of light as an expressive device, not an end itself. I have found that glass and light can enact a transformation, releasing the mind from its usual pathways and preconceptions, inviting stillness, reflection, and making the familiar new again.
Some of my work involves sandblasting images onto glass panels, which I edge-light with LEDs, and often program with color. I have created works of all sizes using these elements, including large scale installations, which I have placed, by invitation, in windows in Manhattan, where they have lit up the city streets for many months. It has given me great pleasure to celebrate, in this way, New York as a city of immigrants, and the 100th birthdays of the Manhattan Bridge and the NYPL.
Much of my work addresses the human urge to dominate nature, peoples, and cultures, and explores how art can enable perceptual shifts that elude the grasp of domination. My bullet pieces have been in shows protesting the Iraq war and, later, gun violence. I have created a glass-and-light memorial, The Drowning of the Cockle Pickers, to 24 undocumented Chinese workers, who drowned while picking cockles off the coast of England. I recently added a video in which their names are recited. In my drawing series Without Title, I create imaginary landscapes inspired by the names indigenous peoples gave their land prior to colonial invasions. These names describe specifics of the landscape – quite unlike the names superimposed by the invaders. To My Quick Ear employs the idea of swarms, and includes algorithms derived from bird flocking used in discovering landmines. These are combined with passages from Emily Dickinson’s work and Paul Celan’s Holocaust-themed poems. Poems as swarms and landmines. In Phonotaxis, I tell the story of an attempt, via AI, to facilitate a conversation between a robot and a group of crickets. The experiment’s results were ambiguous, like so much communication, so my hinged pieces allow for multiple angles of vision. In current sculptural projects, I cast vintage oil cans in glass. I call the series Little Oil (and the large pieces Big Little Oil ), an ironic reference to “Big Oil,” and the massive scale of its impact. But the pieces also conjure an earlier age of ingenious gizmos, and evoke oil in its many other forms -- even transcend it altogether. Glowing luminously atop light boxes, they speak to viewers in multiple ways. A curator has called these pieces, “Reliquaries of the Industrial Age.”