How would it look like if life, with all its intersections, was a musical score on a giant map of human history, a map you could walk through, touch, or even hear? What if each sound was regarded as music, part of a score that is organized and curated by attention?
My work explores how sound, text, and image can navigate experiences of trauma, systemic inequality, vulnerability, and the construction of power. I consider the similarities between a visual line, a line of text, and a melodic line, and the similarities between texture, musical (dis)harmony, and color using drawing, painting, book and zine making, string and wire, sound and video.
The attempt to understand how I know what I know about environmental experiences informs my art practice, which investigates the power differentials of space, access, belonging, and being bodied. I see my art-making as a story, map, or contextualized history, one that makes and remakes identities and how we see and organize the world. How do we find ways to speak about experiences that lift the narratives of those who have been glossed out of dominant histories by a paradigm of erasure?
Successful work in my studio practice is work in which I learn something new about the art making practice, how to ask questions, or how to perceive differently. The criteria is simple: am I speaking my truth? Or am I trying to sound smart, please someone, or address what I think of as the social good without looking at my own role within its construction? If the work helps me survive, and it could help others survive, then it is successful. It functions not only as a history of power and erasure, but also as an affirmation of being seen and heard. Artists such as Julie Mehretu, Mark Bradford, Cassils, David Hammons, Theaster Gates, Doris Salcedo, León Ferrari, Hank Willis Thomas, Mark Lombardi, Nick Cave, Mira Schor, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Rick Lowe, and Carolina Caycedo inspire me for their alternating affirmation and refusal to gloss over violence and erasure in their socio-geographical re-imaginings.
Drawing has always been central to my work. It’s visceral history: my perception and thought going for a walk along the skin of the world. It’s the material and me having a conversation, but mostly me listening to the sound the world makes. Drawing is a language that, unlike the structure of spoken words, doesn’t need to adhere to grammatical rules that separate the subject from the object.