Self-Organized Mapping, 2006
My MFA thesis project exhibition, Self-Organized Mapping, cataloged elements from my life including all of my photographs, months of my web surfing and mapping personal space. They are rearranged chronologically or spatially recreating a version of space-time on a flat picture plane. I am interested in how the process maps and indexes the images from my life and the way in which the indices are then self-patterned. In today’s society, we deal with so much information that I am attempting to grasp at a fraction of it as it pertains to my life. While my work has dealt with rehashes of the past and masses of images before, this was the first time I have worked in such a systematic fashion.
I show the entirety of my personal photography collection shot in that particular year in the All of My Photos series and all of the images gathered automatically from my internet cache in Three Months of My Web Surfing. Previously I compressed most of the digital photographs from several years of living in Florida to minutes to create The Gainesville Experience. While the current work is more of a compression to a single frozen moment: a printed image; it also breaks the paradigm of the perfect photograph by showing all of them. This removal of the editor’s hand is an important part of the pieces. These pieces allow a public viewing of normally private affairs. The interaction of the viewer with these indices of my life is a voyeuristic/exhibitionistic one, but in making the images so small I force the viewer in close to interact on a more personal scale.
In many ways like All My Photos, the piece Three Months of My Web Surfing also gives a new way of thinking about how most of us spend much of our time. When more than 70,000 images are printed out on a sheet three feet by twenty-three feet, space and time are juxtaposed to create something that can be grasped in a completely different view. No longer linear in time, the images we view constantly are now linear in space, laid out from top to bottom left to right. In this piece, we see how much information bombards us daily. Patterns begin to emerge in both of these pieces: a trip to Sequoia leaves a green strip; a visit to a game site shows up as a strip of space icons. Aside from these patterns, the order of horizontal and vertical photographs within the All My Photos piece leaves a design element that appears intentional but is a by-product of the process.
In the third piece for my project exhibition, The Yard Where I Grew Up, I’m investigating my history of the place through a mapping of my Dad’s yard. The farm where I grew up is next door to my grandparents’ house that they built in 1946. My dad never moved away so there is a family history there. I spent much of my time as a child there and later much time mowing it, setting the boundary between the yard and field. When I was photographing the yard, I shot my feet at the beginning of every row to help reconstruct it in Photoshop. They become part of the index of the creation of the piece. Having recently become enamored with satellite maps, I wondered how they would work on a more personal scale so I put down a grid and photographed the whole yard. The result is a strange space that feels both close and distant. The strangeness is magnified by the fact the yard is a map sixty-eight by ninety-three inches. One inch in the photograph equals approximately three feet in the yard.
In creating my work, I examine art, science, media, and pop culture, figure out how to process it and spit it back out as a re-imagined reality. One major influence is that I started my college career as an aerospace engineer before ending up in art. Through this engineering background I developed a systematic and methodical way of going about my art making. It has never been more apparent than in this work. Each piece consists of thousands of images that I had to sort, name and catalog so they would fit back together in the correct order whether chronological or spatially. Ideas of self-organization have recently interested me, so I have let the work basically create itself once I set the initial parameters, much like John Cage’s chance operations. It amazed me that when I had a lack of control, the work seems somehow more controlled. I plan on continuing to deal with art through a lens of scientific inquiry, manipulating space-time to create work that is complex and visually appealing.
Each work is an Archival Inkjet Print and has been printed on various papers including Photo Rag, Strathmore, and Epson Lustre.
(sizes may change with paper)
Selected Exhibitions of this Work
The Self-Portrait Show; Indianapolis Arts Council 924 Gallery
Backscatter: All Photography Show; Create:Fixate Gallery, Hollywood, California
Glimpse of LA Photography; José Drudis-Biada Art Gallery, Mount St. Mary’s College; Los Angeles, California
Photography as Witness; University of Maine Art Gallery
Open 2006; Gallery 825; Los Angeles, California; Juror: Ann Philbin, Hammer Museum
Art, Technology, and Society; Digital Media Center; Santa Ana, California
FWCAC 9X12 Works on Paper Show; Fort Worth Texas Community Arts Center