Palestine Interrupted is an installation of nine short, looped videos. They are shown on separate monitors and arranged in the shape of a circle. Inside the circle created by the monitors, there are rolling chairs for sitting, highlighted by an overhead spotlight. Through fragmented vignettes and sensorial experience, the work challenges the dominant Western narratives about Palestine, presenting unexpected and often conflicting realities. The work in infused with themes of movement, tradition, technology, surveillance, and new cultural forms. Viewers must put the pieces together on their own.
Having spent most of my life moving between the United States and Southeast Asia, I often struggle with a sense of displacement and isolation. In this project, I attempt to reconcile my disparate personal life into a coherent narrative using photographic still and moving images. Oncetoforever attempts to explore the changing nature of memories within the context of cyberspace. The digitalization of experiences brought forth by the accessibility of digital image making and hyper-connectivity in our everyday routines is one of its themes. The project combines staged and documentary images to create a seemingly disparate personal essay of the people I know and the places that I have lived. Abstracted by the presence of technology and the unreliability of memory, the narratives strive to reduce the details of an individual’s memory into an aesthetic experience.
Sublime Grime The Roadtrip
I pursue a multidisciplinary method of producing work as a way to offer many avenues of interpretations to my aesthetic and conceptual interests. The anthropological and theoretical concepts of nature as the ultimate state of otherness play an essential role in my practice. I use the appearances of unruly growths, crystalline formations, dead animals, and melting substances to embody moments of the uncanny. Tropes of degradation often determine the formal qualities in my work in order to isolate the look and feel of atrophy. Natural forms are referenced and composed in ways to suggest the appearance that something has gone wrong.
Through the re-purposing of structural conventions, Divide assimilates familiar architectural norms and subtly alters the manner by which the audience views and interacts with the sculpture. The window comes to be a surface as the viewer is presented not with a window through which to peer, but a screen-like divide at which to direct their gaze. Divide enables the viewer to imagine themselves on the other side of the wall viewing themselves from the inside; they are the observed and the silent observer.
Red Riding Hood
My thesis is a quartet of books that uses the original literary version of Little Red Riding Hood, written by Charles Perrault in 1967, as a unifying thread in order to repurpose a classic tale and frame a contemporary conversation about its themes of femininity, rape, and gender roles.
Through photographing images and materials acquired from Dollar Stores, I am looking to explore the ways in which a visual index can be organized. The intent of the work is to create situations that obscure the function of a readily available product for the purpose of making an aesthetically appealing photograph.
Grab a Chair and S.I.S.A.K.
The projects “Grab a Chair” and S.I.S.A.K. (Site-Specific Artist Kit) are a joint endeavor to understand the art-making process. The sculpture “Grab a Chair” invites the viewer to interact with a hanging chair made of scavenged materials from the exhibition space. The S.I.S.A.K. is a kit that permits the development of an active artistic practice for people who desire to take exciting and unexpected creative paths. For hopeful artists only.
Knitztape is a tool kit that deploys a unique fusion of graphic design, digital technology, and music to allow musicians who release free digital mixtapes online to translate their words or sounds into knitwear. Using an algorithm, a computer program analyzes lyrics from mixtapes that fans tweet to @knitztape, then translates them an abstract digital pattern. Once filled with tweets, the program then outputs the pattern to a digital printer where it is printed on knit fabric, which is sewn into a tank top or t-shirt and becomes available to the fan for purchase.
Knitztape promotes social commerce and the exploration of new business models for the Internet age musician, while providing a physical keepsake for fans.
Red Rock Painted Truck Purple Tree
This project subtly explores the artifice of photography and place. Some images are altered in a process of adding inks on top of the photographic prints. When paired with images not marked at all, a disruption of the image becomes more apparent. The jump between what’s “real” in the photograph and what is “natural” plays out in the viewer’s mind. Mimicking of objects ensue and the facture of the photo is blurred.
Happenings is a platform and service that connects the performing arts to new audiences. Designed for Millennial college students, Happenings utilizes social and multimedia technology, to which these tech-engaged users habitually turn, in order to learn about the performing arts and share this interest with friends and peers.
Happenings is designed to enhance the pre-performance, in-performance, and post-performance experience. Users may filter event listings by favorite arts genre and companies, share events with friends, preview video trailers, and get a glimpse of what to expect when first visiting a performance venue. When it’s time to attend a performance, the app makes purchasing affordable tickets easy. Users receive discounted ticket offers based on self-selected preferences, ticket purchase history and the user’s performance ratings. Discounted and “rush” tickets are purchased from the phone instead of at the box office. During the performance, Happenings augments the in-theater experience by providing audiences with exclusive performance commentary, browsable peer reviews, and live conversation streams with both peers and performers.
The Enigmatic Heart of Matter
My thesis is a collection of projects threaded together by investigations of empirical science, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and alchemy. It touches on their ability to speak to our willingness to believe in invisible ideas and matter. Since its invention, photography has existed as the media that aids the human eye in visualizing otherwise invisible matter, such as celestial bodies or microorganisms. I am interested in our willingness to believe the representations that photography offers up. At the heart of my work is the desire to immortalize the moment when one’s beliefs are suspended between the anxiety of proposed truth and the romanticism of that which inevitably remains unknown.
Night Religion is a series of drawings and paintings, painting on wood, and large, ink works-on-paper, 61 pieces in total, that were the result of an intense period of production in which I sought to create instinctive, honest imagery. The work is emotional, but finds a balance between depression and humor: a drawing can have a new layer to reveal each time you look at it. I utilize a certain color palette: muddy pastels inspired by Native American patterns, which reflect my Midwestern upbringing. I also use a collection of self-made archetypes: the priest, the girl, the fox, and the shaman. These figures are often solitary in their empty environments. I am interested in articulating profound sadness and loneliness in a way that can be viewed as delicately, strangely beautiful.
Francis tells the story of a goldfish who was won as a prize in the local circus carnival, and has dreamed of having his very own act in the world-renowned circus, Pescatore’s World of Prestidigitation and Delight, for as long as he can remember. Each character we encounter, which Francis imagines as himself, was inspired by a variety of life experiences I have either gone through myself or made aware by others. In the end, I wanted to use the medium of puppetry to tell a simple story of self-discovery.
(flashlight, pedestal, prism, video camera)
Invoking sublimity, the play of sculpture takes on a melancholic feeling that provides a contemplative experience both introspective and fun.
Pit is an ongoing, site-specific performance in New Jersey. This work takes place at the bottom of a field, marking two properties in the middle. This performance acts as a method of mourning through the symbolic action of digging. Through self-induced labor, personal thresholds and endurance are explored. In marking the land, an ownership is claimed in preservation of a history that will slowly dissolve through time.
HEAT: human energy amplification technology
By merging science, technology and fashion, my project aims to create a human-energy-harnessing technology within a wearable form. Working in the fields of science and design, it is more crucial than ever for designers to take action and create products that are environmentally responsible especially in times of dwindling resources and rising energy costs. My product presents a self-sustaining, energy-saving concept, which allows users to collect, convert, conserve, share or instantly utilize thermal energy to power electric devices.
“Queer” is a beautifully slippery term that lends itself well to a certain abstraction that originates from a corporeal form. I have been using performance as a way to question the surface of beauty and complicate the formality of my sculptures, which are process-based and heavily ornamented. I have been interested in how recent queer scholars have characterized the term “queer” as something that cannot be essentially defined and how this relates to notions of formlessness and abstraction. My performances and sculptures invoke queer ideology and its expansive possibilities.
Silence Makes Us All Liars
Artist Jeanie Choi explores our longing to confess the unspeakable. Through a series of collaborations, “Silence Makes Us All Liars” employs gesture and silence to examine the relationship between the confessor and the unreciprocated other. Using photography, video and performance, the reiteration of symbols and mistranslations never reach a conclusion, but reassure us that we are all trying to broaden the possibilities of truth between us.
Little Shadows is a performative audio-visual installation. It proposes a new and playful interactive language that can be learned through intuitive mapping of the movement of hand-gesture shadows and their behavior, shape, color and sonic output. Many hand gestures, specifically hand signals, carry multiple interpretations, depending on the cultural and social context. My focus, however, is on hand gestures conceived as a tool for expression and the ways in which they can shape and actually spawn new forms of non-verbal dialogue between users. My essential design question revolves around the idea of how an audio-visual system provides a visceral space where users can modify, learn and teach one another alternative modes of meaning through the use of hand gestures.
Estimated Ultimate Recovery (EUR)
Estimated Ultimate Recovery (EUR) is a two-part project that addresses the scale of human impact within the environment, specifically through a consideration of hydraulic fracturing, a controversial form of natural resource extraction. The project includes a 132-by-168 inch drawing created through the process of breaking a series of shale stones down until they were fully dispersed. The final drawing is a tracing of the dissolution process. The resulting work is folded to suggest a large-scale map.
The second component of the project is a folded, newsprint document available for visitors to take away from the installation. On one side of the newsprint is an image of shale taken from the site from which the material for the project came. The reverse side is curated research on shale and hydraulic fracturing. In addition, the words “estimated ultimate recovery” (a term used by the oil and gas industry to note an available resource) are reconfigured into a series of questions.
Argha: The Difficulty of Being a Woman, Fights and Moments of Glory
Installation, ink and watercolor on Mylar sheets. Light box and fishing wire.
This project is about identifying mood changes and emotional states. I gathered experiences from the people with whom I live to create a character, Argha, who symbolizes the complexity of the mind through her behavioral dynamic. States of mind are represented as stains on Mylar sheets using watercolor and ink. Each sheet represents a different state of mind.
A History of Progress
Archival Inkjet Prints
A History of Progress consists of images that depict sculptures, resembling mechanical engine parts, made in a 3D digital-modeling program. These computer-generated renderings are placed into photographed environments. These sculptures represent an old symbol of progress, the mechanical, in their form, while referencing a new standard of progress, the digital, in their process. The studio-like environments further support the idea of these objects as sculptures and begins to push them beyond renderings of mechanical parts. The contrast between the computer-generated material and the photographed space begins to question this new standard’s place within the photographed environment.
My thesis was an experiment in looking at the mind as a place that reflects the familiarity and strangeness of being alive. I aimed to depict imaginary spaces that people could get lost within, and crawl into and explore.
A marked shift toward unsustainable agricultural practices has occurred in the United States within the past fifty years, which poses a serious threat to environmental stability and to human and animal welfare. Edible Ethics is an interactive guide that illustrates the hidden consequences of this increasingly industrialized food system. Through deconstruction of the complex processes involved in food production, I hope to provide insight into the lasting effects of the current system, and to persuade you to support a necessary return to a more sustainable agricultural system.
In the extreme fringes of the ultra-orthodox Jewish community, there is an increasing level of repression and discrimination against women. This community has been eradicating images of women, little girls, even dolls in advertisements, yet the men’s faces stay untouched.
In Woman X, I took portraits of Israeli women, dressed in a modest manner, as to represent religious woman, I then enlarged these photographs into large-scale posters and pasted them in different neighborhoods in the three main cities of Israel: Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. These were pasted in secular as well as mixed and extremely religious neighborhoods.
I wanted to create a dialogue about this issue, pay respect to these women, and see if there would be reactions in different religious sectors in the cities.
This video project was created with the help and collaboration of Noa Flecker and Yaacov Baharav, photography students in Bezalel, Israel.
Learning To Disappear
When I moved from Detroit to New York City, I had the idea that I would follow in the footsteps of my favorite golden-age street photographers. So romantic were my heroes of old, with their range finders and ability to disappear in plain sight. But I soon came to feel that that golden age was dead and gone.
It seemed that after the super-proliferation of cameras embedded in mobile phones, Urban America’s love of the on-the-street image was over. When I ventured out with my camera, I found hostility, annoyance, and sneers. This series uses digital compositing techniques to create a hyper-real depiction of this sentiment. The images portray scenes in which the photo’s subject meets the viewer’s gaze directly and somewhat confrontationally. In the era of social media, people have become increasingly conscious of how and when their image is disseminated. The series explores the new social landscape.
El Gordon Demolition
Providing an alternate methodology, my project “El Gordon Demolition,” constructs a bridge of association between the urban spaces of New York and my native country of Colombia through a “faux” demolition company. Structured as a complex installation‚ it grapples with the history of destruction and reconstruction in New York.
My thesis was inspired by botanical illustrations. I created a world of little children. I wanted to tell stories that evoked childhood and growth. I sculpted the characters to bring them to life.
Our Collective Body
For the past 18 months, I have been collecting material remnants of the body (including hair, dust, and lint) from friends, family, and acquaintances across the United States as part of my project, Our Collective Body. I work with these materials to create site-specific sculptures and installations that examine our material waste in relation to the body, space, and form. I often use video and photography to document the ephemeral nature of my daily actions and artistic gestures.
Recently, I have begun to incorporate new items into my collection, including leaves, tree bark, and other materials that are a part of cyclical processes of decay and regrowth for plants. The expansion of my collection focuses on materials that evince a state of becoming (similar to our bodily waste). I have also been gathering materials by the riverside including driftwood, Styrofoam, and other objects turned over by the water’s tide. The Styrofoam begins to look like rock formations and the driftwood becomes light and smooth. I collect these materials while walking along the river; I am fascinated with walking as an embodiment of becoming.
Smart Shop focuses on improving the shopping experience for customers inside supermarkets, using technology to create a new interaction between the place and the people in the place.
The project targets possibilities for the customers. Every supermarket possesses a database that contains all information concerning the products: prices, discounts, location in supermarket, etc. I am deploying that database in a new context, providing it to customers through a mobile application, with a visual location-finding interface for their use inside the supermarket. Using that database, customers can browse products, find exactly where they are located in the aisles, find discounts, and navigate spatially through the supermarket. The information will be displayed by scanning the AR (Augmented Reality) codes with a smartphone or tablet computer.
With Scott Peterman
Realized using openFrameworks + iOS, OpenGL and Qualcomm image tracking.
Three doors strategically placed in three corners of a room. Each door is inspired by a phenomenon that affects time and presence. Each act of spying on oneself is meant to summon an eerie feeling of depersonalization and urge a consideration of time that is non-linear or flawed.
The book contains precedents to this work. Often, it is difficult to read, mimicking the effect of looking through the peepholes. Reading the book is as challenging as it is to adjust to what is seen through the peephole.
The necessity and inevitability of change in relation to the physical world is the focus of my practice. In The Return, I utilize the transformative properties of photography, video, and my subjects to counter the myth-making tendency of our culture’s relationship to landscape. In the video, a Mimosa Albizia tree is documented in real time as its light-sensitive leaves open and close in response to the manipulation of light. In the black and white photograph, the tree itself is captured motionless. Breaking from the traditional use of silver gelatin paper, I use the light sensitive surface of mural sized photography paper to document traces of the land. The paper continues to change from vibrant to dull tones after its contact with stones, plants, roadside objects, and soil because of its continual exposure to atmospheric light. The photographic emulsion changes as it is exposed in the vast expanse of the U.S. and then transported back to New York City. Because the photogram-like impression disappears with time, the photograph refuses its ability to be archival but recycles itself into new imagery in continuous change. In a half attempt to preserve, I place red dirt or straw over certain areas of the paper to slow the light from changing the image. Then, I return the paper to another site, and the process is altered once again. Here, the process of choosing what to sustain or what to let go causes an intellectual and laborious process both literal and metaphorical in its change of identity.
TYRANT Magazine is an American men’s design magazine geared towards making the topic of design more relatable to the everyday guy. Through articles on architecture, art, style, product design, photography, living and culture TYRANT influences its readers to live aesthetically stronger lives.
Clear Eyes, Full Hearts
In this personal series, I focused on my thought process and identity. Through an unreliable narrator, a story is subtly told about the mental health of the narrator. Common themes are paranoia and the madness of everyday life, which are expressed through juxtaposing stripped down and naturalistic scenes with more romanticized versions of life. I wish to blur lines and make contradictions in my body of work. Each photograph can be relatable or completely removed but nothing is in-between. During the time spent making these images, I wondered if this was therapeutic for me, or if it’s a weakness that I can’t stop making images that represent my emotional frame of mind. My objective is to be both sincere and deceitful but still truthful in the sense that the contrasting intentions exist in my mind.
Losertopia is a new world of characters that don’t follow the social standards that everyone else follows. We trust ourselves. We don’t worship the mainstream. We oppose the superficial and judgmental. Welcome to the Losertopia.
Chinese young women are developing negative self-images due to an increased exposure to mainstream beauty standards shown in the media. A large number of them are overdoing make-up and plastic surgery and increasingly look like clones of each other. Uniface is a dream-fulfilling facemask for contemporary Chinese women. It is branded and commercialized to ironically communicate how media has manipulated women’s desire to have the same extreme facial features. Uniface is intended to raise the awareness of this beauty issue, and to make women rethink about what they are doing to themselves.