This solo exhibition looked at problems of identity, ways to measure my identity, and ways of thinking about my body and its connections to land and to my family (past, present, and future).
Because of assimilation and moves toward whiteness in my recent family history I've felt the loss of cultural expression, and I explored this by producing an heirloom designed to consume itself slowly over the next 8,000 years. I also explored and exposed moves toward settler innocence by tracing 17 generations in my ancestry to identify a fully indigenous man, then diluting my blood by a factor of four for each generation, then taking the diluted blood and writing the names of my ancestors with their respective diluted blood ratios as my ink.
Lineage is an abstract concept and heirlooms decay, the physical body is all that I have to think about identity, and, like everyone else, my body is my primary interface for how I experience the world. So I produced a set of reference scales calibrated by my bodily dimensions at this point in time. Among the other works in this exhibition, I traced 148 feet of cracks in the gallery floor and filled them with a network of lamp-work glass tubing to make people aware of their bodies as they moved through the gallery. We typically ignore floors and cracks when we walk over them, but breaking the glass in a gallery made people think about their bodies in the space in a new way. Finally, to think about empathy and my relationship to nature and the future of our environment, I embedded a terrarium in cement (a kind of Schrödinger's cat meets Tamagotchi pet) with an LED grow light that is activated by pushing down a tiny button on top of the cement cylinder.
September-October 2017, The Muted Horn, Cleveland Ohio.