In my sculpture, video and sound work, I am looking for pathways into the unknown and the invisible; the place on the edge of awareness, the unspoken sometimes unknown motivations for action. Dreams serve as a doorway to access these behind the scenes occurrences of the mind. By mining my dream journals from the past 25 years, I weave together threads of recurring themes; water, roads, and movement.
Using sound, spoken text, video and sculpture, I seek to reveal layers of thoughts, intentions and actions of myself and those around me. I talk with others about their experiences on the road, or in their dreams, and layer their voices with my voice to bring forward the notion the universality of our experience, and perhaps our motivations. In concert with the dreaming mind, metaphors are woven into my work as a way to turn around an image and become closer to this invisible realm of thought. I seek to recreate the sensation of being inside of the mind, as if the mind were a landscape one could walk around inside.
My work involves turning over internal images and narration of the mind. The work expands the gap between the seen and unseen and engages intuition through an immersion of the senses. This nonlinear approach with no beginning and no end parallels the experience of memory and creates sensorial connectivity. Continual movement throughout the video acts as a trigger for the wandering mind. Where do our thoughts go as we move through space for example while driving, flying or spending time on the road? What triggers our return to consciousness? How does memory play a role in this experience?
My work addresses a transitional moment between states of being, e.g., the moment just before falling asleep where images start to form in the mind, the moment just after waking, where the activities from the dreams disorient, or the confusion of déjà vu, intuition, and a type of recall; a thought below the surface of two or three other thoughts that cannot be brought to the forefront of the mind. An altered state is generated within controlled lighting of dark interior spaces using olfactory triggers with audio as the primary medium to thread together the various components.
As a means of exploring these liminal moments; I’ve worked through a series works: Immersion (2010,) En Route 32 (2011,) Divination Method (2012,) Between Two Rivers (2012.) Immersion was an installation at the Herman Meril Gallery at the University of Maryland. A hexagon shaped room had speakers built into the walls, painted dark brown, with no lighting but for faint lights on the stairs leading down into the space. The floor was covered with sand, which directly affected the acoustics of the room. The 5..1 surround sound had many layers of sounds: crickets, bells, a water fountain, and singing. The spoken text referenced water in many forms: ice, rivers, sinks, snow, lakes and flooded rooms. Multiple voices were layered on various channels within the space, yet distinct threads of narration could be singled out by moving close to individual speakers.
The ideal location to listen to the piece was on a blanket, lying in the middle of the space. The voices and sounds echoed the nature and complexity of memory— its tenuous and shifting elusiveness. Basil and peppermint oils were sprinkled into the sand, creating an olfactory sensation. The piece was meant to heighten the sensory experience by removing visual element and engulfing the viewer in darkness. The sand on the floor echoes the threshold at the water’s edge, but also implies a shifting boundary, a calm uncertainty.
In the video En Route a collaboration with musician Alain Wozniak, we incorporated binaural beats into the soundtrack and brought the sound waves to 10 Hz. This induced an alpha state of meditative alertness in the viewer. The subject of this work is the road, and it contains audio narration about the road, while bringing the viewer through the landscape: airplanes over Switzerland, roadways of Germany, and alongside rivers in Minnesota.
The void, the darkness that is darker than a moonless night is rich with possibility. This darkness invites a sliver of light to reveal its secrets—a glacial pace heightens movement. These extremes states invite my attention. Dark settings for the installations, Immersion, Divination Method, and Between Two Rivers, echo the dark of night, as well as the deep recesses of the mind— where divination occurs. It is in this uncertainness, this place behind consciousness, just before the dawn where intuition lives.