My art does not speak directly to environmental crises, environmentalism, or even ecology. There is a lot of art that does and I’m not convinced of the efficacy of much of it to change minds or to offer a new perspective, let alone to initiate action. There is only so much crisis one can take. I know this from experience.
I choose a different approach with my work.
My resistance to the label art-sci leads me to examine why I gravitate toward science with my art. I wanted more magic. Scientists show me how to see the world differently and expanding my mind by helping me see more complexity in the environment. But now, As an artist, instead of burying the magic, I get to draw it out and play with it.Read More
Art grants me certain liberties such as magic and intuition. Perhaps art offers scientists freedom and expansion to contemplate words like this. Expansions flow in both directions. I have gained freedoms and expansions from working with scientists.Read More
What do I learn from climbing a tall old-growth tree many times? What can I glean after sitting in one place from sunrise to sunset every season of the year? It makes me ponder the differences between actively or passively receiving information.Read More
We heard from four ecoartspace artists who shared their ideas and artworks about trees and forests: Marie-Luise Klotz, Christopher Lin, Erika Osborne, Leah Wilson. Leah Wilson told the story of “Listening to the Forest,” her installation created for Oregon State University’s College of Forestry.Read More
Challenging perception is too confrontational for my liking and it implies that I: 1) know the viewers’ worldview and 2) have an agenda to change it. Neither is true.
Instead of a challenge, I see my art as an invitation.
Art does not need to include an explicit element of self expression. My creative process is in service to developing a relationship with place rather than expressing myself. My path veers away from science because of my intention. I look toward science for examples of field research processes and systems designed to look at the world objectively. Unlike scientists, I do not set up systems to ensure that whoever asks the question gets consistent answers. I do not aim to answer questions. My intention is to develop a relationship.Read More
You have a very structured and deliberate approach to your art. Do you find that limiting? Many students complain, saying science writing is so formulaic, so boring. But consider haiku. What writing could be more formulaic?Read More
I receive many questions during presentations and artist talks. I can’t address them all in the event’s timeframe. This is a good place to reflect:
Q: What motivates your choice in topics?
I am devoted to the process of integrating specific systems into my projects. Each discrete system builds upon the previous and my empirical knowledge grows alongside the more intangible knowledge. This is the space where systematic processes transform into rituals that may perhaps be spiritual in nature. The resulting wonder gleaned from the ritualistic performance of the system’s procedures feeds a part of my human spirit that systematic research for empirical knowledge alone does not provide – There is an additional intention embedded within the system.Read More
How can my process of meaning making be distinguished from the ordinary process of making? Ritual? Can I accept that? I turn away from ritual now mostly from habit. It echos a repetition of actions that are done so many times they lose their meaning. I question those assertions and assumptions, reactions that have become automatic to almost become the ritual that I habitually reject.Read More
I struggle with seeing how I personally cultivate a reciprocal relationship with the land. Every personal relationship to the land is different and every place also presents different relationships and connections. Reflection brought some clarification.Read More
What would happen if fear and guilt is dropped from conversations about the environment? What would it feel like to think of ourselves as part of nature rather than something separate that we need to fix? What if the land is internalized so that we are in fact, healing ourselves? What if we change perspective to be in relationship with the earth?Read More
Landscapes are ecosystems in fluid motion. They are never static, like in landscape photograph or landscape painting. The only way to be true to the story of the land is to pay attention to the way that it sways through time. Time is the metronome that keeps the beat for the rhythm of place. Without time, there is no rhythm, no music of the land. We feel this rhythm within us when we feel we know a place. It is a part of us.Read More