Much of our modern society was built on the idea that some lives are more important than others; that the disenfranchised were there to sacrifice their lives for those whose lives had value. While we have put an end to some horrific practices, many forms of it still exist. My work is about empowering individual lives by dissecting modern manifestations of this psychology until it is unrecognizable.
For my paintings, I start with written text. Documents that have the power to outline ways in which some lives are made more important than others. Words that have repercussions on a mass scale. Pronouncements and propaganda that strip living beings of their inherent value, and turn them into anonymous things.
I then take the numbers, letters, and punctuation that comprise these texts and alphabetically reorder them. The result is total nonsense. All of the same elements are there, but they no longer have the power to do harm. They have been disarmed. Like taking a gun and switching around its parts so the mechanism can no longer fire.
Finally, I use both forms of the text to write an algorithm that that drives the decisions of each brush stroke of paint. I input the raw data of the text into the algorithm, run it through a series of “if/then” rules I assign based on the structure and grammar of the written words, and receive an output of painterly actions. The painting could not exist without either the original or altered text.
Alternately, in my drawings I am seeking an antidote to this poisonous psychology. I engage in acts of repetition that facilitate an accumulation of similar but inevitably unique marks while concentrating on compassion. These actions are meant to highlight the concept of the individual while showing the strength that many individuals have together.