I am an artist and photographer. I currently teach courses on digital art and time based media at VCU. A collaborative book with artists from RISD and Brown University, of transcribed discussions on the subject of “re-framing the real,” is in the works. I received a BA in Social Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an MFA in Photography from the Rhode Island School of Design. I was awarded separate Graduate Studies research grants in 2013 and 2014 for research related to the ongoing project Michael.
My recent work focuses on the undercurrent of private experience and its quiet power in our lives. I am interested in the ways that secret desires and emotions manifest as events. My concern is not whether these events are socially accepted or appropriate, but simply that they exist and motivate us.
The opt-in nature of online interactions creates new opportunities for people to transform desire into experience. Lurking (2010-present) is comprised of screenshots from live video chat rooms that are later paired as diptychs, thus simulating the interactions of strangers in virtual spaces. The diptych installations are a vicarious testament to the experience of private sexual and emotional expression that is universal but publicly veiled. Although digital culture carries with it the burden of trivializing human interaction in general, my work hints at the fleeting significant moments that also arise.
Through the series Michael, I ally with the history of homosexual men living in the epoch between the Stonewall Uprising in 1969 and the death of Rock Hudson by AIDS in 1985. More specifically, I trace the experiences of my uncle Michael, a gay man and artist whose adult life was bookended by these landmark events in queer history.
Michael was found dead at the base of a rock ledge—a presumed suicide—on June 14th, 1985, shortly after the first test for HIV antibody was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration in March 1985. However, circumstantial evidence is of little consolation to those who live in the wake of untimely passing. This work is less concerned with finding answers; its preoccupation is to contend with the unknowable, to illustrate the memories, dreams, speculation, hopes, and fears that continue to resonate. It is an attempt to do exactly what I cannot: to be alive within all of the trappings of another's subjectivity—to illustrate internal images with external ones.