My work explores how seemingly independent phenomena are, upon analysis, actually interdependent with their environments. Such interdependence may be understood in terms of the Buddhist notion of emptiness, which holds that no object, physical or mental, exists in isolation from the rest of reality. For example, humans often think of themselves as embodied individuals that act separately from their surroundings and other people. However, when people examine even the most basic unit of the individual self - the human body - they find it composed entirely of “non-self” physical elements such as their parents’ genetic material, food, and water that all, ultimately, originate from ancient stellar explosions. These elements are in continual exchange with the environment and with others through eating, respiration, immunological and genetic processes. Similarly, human mental structures and processes, including languages, ideas, memories, and preferences, all emerge from our interactions with other individuals and society. Even when alone, the imprints of these previous interactions drive our mental processes. Such a view of interdependence and emergence has gained widespread contemporary support in the fields of complexity theory, social psychology, and network theory.

In my artwork, I portray this interdependence of individuals with their environments and with each other through bodily interactions. Many of my works do not function unless viewers actively engage with them - by touching, breathing, moving, etc. - so that viewers are essential to the work’s existence as art. Furthermore, although the works involve state of the art technologies, viewers’ experiences more typically occur in the realm of human-to-human interactions. The pieces provoke communication among the viewers that, more than a mere reaction to the work, becomes the very essence of it.

Interaction is by nature time-based, and my artistic process is rooted in my training as an experimental filmmaker and animator. The frame-by-frame creation of movement is based on an understanding that even a thirtieth of a second can change the perceptual and emotional impact of a cinematic moment. I apply a similar methodology in creating time-based interactions among humans and technology. My artistic vocabulary is comprised of the subtle changes in timing that unfold as projections or mechanical objects react to viewers. These changes in timing are encoded not as frames of film, but as computer instructions that constantly reinterpret and update the temporal conditions of the work.

Although the ideas that my works attempt to convey are complex, I have adopted a minimalist artistic practice. My working process is subtractive, removing elements until only those necessary for conveying a work's meaning remain. I combine this approach with the principles of phenomenology - the philosophy of how the body “thinks” through unmediated perception, rather than through reason and language. Participants construct the meaning of my works through a process of physical awareness, which, in the words of the philosopher Merleau-Ponty, “gives us at every moment a global, practical, and implicit notion of the relation between our body and things, of our hold on them.” As applied to interactivity, my approach rewards viewers with an immediate, visceral sense of presence, while simultaneously inducing them to understand the conceptual motivation and deeper meaning behind the work.

My interests in phenomenology and minimalism reflect several of my artistic influences. First is the tradition of experimental and abstract film, especially the work of Len Lye, who created direct cinema by scratching and marking celluloid film directly with his body. Lye, along with other abstract film pioneers, including Oskar Fischinger, Hans Richter and Moholy-Nagy, revealed that it was possible to create sophisticated, time-based, emotion- and meaning-laden work without resorting to representation. A second direct influence on my work is the minimalist environmental art of the 60’s and 70’s, most notably that of Robert Irwin and James Turrell, who explored how subtle changes in an environment can make deep impressions on the viewer. My work continues in these traditions by constructing environments that directly and meaningfully react to viewers’ presence and engagement.

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