My research examines the designed and found icons of the American character in search of our underlying values and our aspirations as individuals and as a society. These ideals are visible as monumental forms, but also camouflaged in mundane ubiquity. Themes within the work- the economic flows of resources, moral and material conundrums, and the legacy of empire- are touchstones that constellate to destabilize and complicate what may have been seen as our foundational ideals.
I present a comparative study of the mass-cultural investment in disposability and the human desire to imagine permanence through emblems, monuments, and commemoration. While disparate intentions inform these impulses- one to remember, and the other to quickly forget- each will materially describe our society to future generations. Through this lens, I explore the complexities of the American landscape, human-scale and geological-scale time and space, and the ways in which the constructed environment rivals that of the natural environment. Our physical material footprint will outlive the emblems designed to signify our political and moral ideals, and stand as our lasting cultural monument, and define the Contemporary American Sublime.
My sculptural and installation works borrow from the visual language of memorial and commemoration in textiles and metals. These Anthropocene-Era Commemoratives contrast human-scale and geological-scale time and space as part of the continual unfolding and cycling of matter and the transformation of landscape. My installations are arranged differently each time they are installed, often integrating locally sourced found materials. This contemplative combination of materials becomes existential, questioning the solidity and permanence of both nature and culture, and implicating the local community in a global conversation about materials.