CONTACT 3017 SUBMISSION MATERIALS:
I was messaging with Katherine Tuider (Director of the Honolulu Biennial Foundation) on Instagram, and she put me in touch with Josh Tengan (who I also know from Instagram) and he asked me to put together some context for the piece that I am submitting to PARADISE COVE for CONTACT 3017 so that you could see how this fits with my future-focused work. This page has some of that contextual information, but some of the work is still under review with different galleries and funding sources so please don't share this content publicly just yet.
I no longer live in Hawai'i (I moved to Ohio) but Josh and Katherine mentioned that former Hawai'i artists have been invited to participate in the past, so there could be a chance to include my piece if it fits with the curatorial goals, which would be great because I really miss Hawai'i and want to contribute to the art scene in any way possible.
Here is the piece I want to submit to CONTACT 3017:
Title: VOLCANOES ARE THE ORIGINAL 3D PRINTER, EVERYTHING ELSE IS GEOMIMICRY (2016) (images 1 - 3 below)
Description/Statement: 95% of ocean pollution is plastics. But we still market things like 3D printing pens as toys for children. Geologists discovered plastiglomerate in the sedimentary profile of beaches in Hawai'i a few years ago; it is from ocean trash and beach plastic that melted in beach fires and filled the vesicles of basalt lava. This is an irony because volcanoes are the original 3D printer, printing landforms like the Hawai'ian islands. 3D printing is mimetic of the volcanic process. This object was drawn free-hand with a 3D printing pen and is a formal comparison between the eruption of a volcano and the imprecision of a 3D printing pen toy. The comparison is quite accurate, the way the plastic melts and folds in this object resembles pahoehoe lava. This work tries extra hard to mock our obsession with plastic because I want people to think about the lava as something intelligent when compared to human arrogance in thinking that 3D printing is the best thing in the world.
Material: ABS plastic filament
Dimensions: approximately 12"H x 18"W x 2"D
CONTEXT: MY RECENT DEEP FUTURE PROJECTS
My most recent work is looking at the environmental conditions of the deep future (100,000 years from now) in a way that speculates about how humans can begin a collaboration now with different natural forces in the deep future. At the moment this all focuses on the next ice age (which should occur in 100,000 years) and I am building objects and models that can help us imagine that future now. These will be in a gallery exhibition in 2018. I am also building tools that are public sculptural works (to be installed in 2018) but that can be used by future climate events like glaciers. For example, 40,000 years ago glaciers moved a lot of granite boulders from Canada into the United States and this granite acted as a cutting tool to carve and shape the landscape along the way. My sculptures are designed to be cutting tools for a future glacier and they are arranged in landscapes using particular patterns so that when they are used by a glacier they will make a series of predictable marks. But even if my sculptures survive until the next ice age (which I don't think they actually will), no one would ever see the marks that would be left by the sculptures because humans will most likely be extinct. So to help people imagine this future, I am working on paintings and drawings of the future landscapes that help people see what those marks in the environment will look like.
I think it is important to mention that the sculptures are all made using materials that move through the supply chain, some of them are waste materials, others are natural materials, but all of the materials share one thing in common: they are all the result of human-driven over consumption of resources which is at the root of climate change acceleration (the cause of our likely demise). The objects reflect how things like custom kitchen counter tops are against our best interest when it comes to survival and a clear transgression of the land (which humans love to do).
Punctum Books (NYC) will be publishing a book of documentation for this project and I will be able to include the piece I am submitting to CONTACT 3017 in that book which I think would be good exposure for CONTACT to a different audience. This project will include a gallery exhibition and some permanent and temporary public works in 2018 and the book will be published in time for the first gallery show. I say all this to let you know that the thrust of my work is future focused. I'm happy to talk about this more if you want to talk.
Last fall I was invited to give a talk about this project to a group of landscape architects and students at the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. They recorded the talk with a cellphone and put it on YouTube (I'm not proud of the quality, but I didn't make the video). If you want to see it, here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWaZ-bW8BlM
Below are select images from the set of models and objects I am building for the gallery exhibit and installation of temporary public work and permanent landscape work in 2018:
OTHER RELATED WORK (2015-2017)
Here is some of my environmentally-oriented work that might be interesting to you. Common themes are resource-extraction & over-consumption; comparing the supply chain to natural forces (supply chains move natural materials faster and farther than nature ever could); mindfulness and empathy with ecosystems, and looking at other ways our behaviors mimic geologic forces.
ONE LAST THING...
I mentioned that Punctum Books is publishing my documentation, but I want to also let you know that I have a different book that is being released this summer with Punctum, and since you are artists and curators, I thought you might like to know about it. Email me your address and I'll send you a copy when it goes to print. It's called Hack the Experience: Tools for Artists from Cognitive Science. Here is a link to the book page on the Punctum website: https://punctumbooks.com/titles/hack-the-experience-new-tools-for-artists-from-cognitive-science/
And here is a pic of the book cover: