Clouds Filtered Through Trees
Installation (glass, steel, vinyl, hardware, rainwater, sapwood, signage), 2019. I harvested rainwater from the roof of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, filtered it through a piece of pine wood, and offered it to the public, along with a text complicating the proposition of drinking it.
Social/video/performance work in collaboration with Namulen Bayarsaihan, Orhontuul Banzragch, Bat-Orgil Batulga, Dashdondog Badam (and family), Saruul Artist Residency, Selenge, Mongolia, 2019. We brought manufactured turf to a nomadic herding family’s home on common grazing lands, borrowed their table, and used it to ceremoniously offer the sod to their animals.
I have been producing darkly humorous short films on location in political border zones, interrogating the space occupied by borders in our natural and social imaginaries. I perform as a research scientist obstinately proving that political borders do not exist from a natural law perspective. The work is shot at the border between Armenia and Turkey, at the foot of Mount Ararat / Ağrı Dağı, and involves a comparative analysis of soil from both sides of a border fence. Further works are under production in the US/Mexico and US/Canada border regions.
Social/Public Project with numerous collaborators and participants. 2016-present. Over several years I have become proficient at cutting edge maple sap gathering and processing techniques, and I use this wild, magical natural resource as a medium for artistic expression, collaboration, and civic engagement. Currently I am collaborating with the Keney Park Sustainability Project in the impoverished North End of Hartford, Connecticut, to tap the trees in the park and develop a series of events and activities to share and enjoy tree sap with folks in the neighborhood. The latest development is a functional steam room that uses the steam resulting as a byproduct of the maple syrup evaporation process, to create a space for healing, conversation, and reconnecting with the land.
Series of collective guided performative walks, 2017. I organized these walks and led participants on an experience of banging fences with sticks, light trespassing, and related discussions, as a way of thinking together through an embodied practice about the private property legal regime that we live under in this colonized world.
Social/Public Project, digital print, and video installation, 2017. I performed a 26 mile walk, which I have mapped out here, circumambulating nine times counter-clockwise around the beautiful Mission Church in the present-day Mission Hill neighborhood of the traditional homeland of the Massachusett people (greater Boston, Massachusetts, USA). My idea was to map the sphere of influence of the church bells, as a way of thinking critically and experientially about the ongoing colonization of indigenous lands by settler societies. The resulting video documenting the walk became part of an installation in the hallway of Emmanuel College, a private, Catholic, liberal arts college.
Installation, dimensions vary (print: 5′ x 8′). 2016. This printed work was made using a collection of hand-carved and engraved blocks including a personal iconography of images and an alphabet in two different scales. The installation includes a variety of meaningful natural objects in addition to the blocks and the print.
Social/Public Installation/Performance, 2012. I made tree guards for the poor dying street trees outside of this gallery space, and appropriated the cobble stones crowding their roots to create a gathering space for drinking tea infusions made from plants foraged in the surrounding city’s wild spaces.
Social/Public performances and installations, in collaboration with Huong Ngo, dimensions vary, 2010. We made a number of inflatable sculptures, mobile structures, props, and costumes, and presented an imagined utopian city to friends, neighbors, and participants, in a series of performances, exhibitions, and organized parades moving at an impossibly slow pace.
Self-Organized Social/Public Project, in collaboration with Huong Ngo and participants, dimensions vary, 2009. This wide-ranging project involved growing a rooftop vegetable garden, as well as several mobile-garden vehicles, and sharing the produce with neighbors and participants, and organizing a series of tours, exhibitions, talks, and other events throughout New York City at various gardens and sites of interest.
Social/Public Project, in collaboration with Ted Efremoff, dimensions vary, 2006-2010. With approximately 100 participants we built a functional wooden boat and trailer in three weeks and used them for civic engagement actions related to revitalizing local waterways and developing alternative histories in the impoverished and stigmatized city of Willimantic, Connecticut.
A Sauna – or -Something About Temperature & Time, Memory & Moments, Labor, Leisure & Location, Saving & Sharing, Usefulness & Us
Social/Public Project, in collaboration with Sam Ekwurtzel, dimensions vary, 2007. We built a functional wood-fired sauna at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, when we were residents there. The sauna was used for a series of performances, conversations, and video productions, and became an identifying feature of the landscape at this residency program for years to come.
Social/Public Project, dimensions vary, 2007-2013. This was a series of uniquely designed small lending libraries in public spaces, each with a librarian and a specific collection depending on the design and context. Each library was designed to make opportunistic use of loopholes discovered in rules of the various regulatory agencies governing the use of public space in New Haven and New York City.
Social/Public Project, dimensions vary. 2007. Collaboration with a variety of participants. Commissioned by Artspace (New Haven, CT), this was a 6 month-long installation in a public park named the Lot. The project included a variety of structures to promote civic engagement and activate the space, including a freestanding wall for writing, a group of homemade musical instruments, a small shed for exchanging personal objects, a miniature lending library, and a vegetable garden.
Social/Public Project, dimensions vary, 2005-2008. This project involved projecting 16mm films, often by Charles Chaplin, onto my back, while riding an adult tricycle around the neighborhood, causing impromptu parades of viewers, conversations, new friendships, collaborations, and psychogeographic explorations of the city.
16mm film/Performance/ Printed Matter / Participatory Installation. 2005. This was my MFA thesis exhibition. I shot and manually edited an original 16mm film, and installed it hanging in the air as a sculptural material. The film was running through two projectors, projecting onto a couple of interactive situations for participants to activate with their creative work. Throughout the month-long run of the show, I worked the regular hours of the museum as a performative laborer, engaging freely with visitors and producing block prints. In addition there were free copies of two original artist books that I had made in large editions.