The surface of water is constantly moving, you have to keep your focus on its surface to see its present form. It shapes and is shaped by its container. Concentrating on every ripple, shimmer, wave, foam, or floating object as it moves on to new forms through space and time. Water is an easy thing to see how you can stay in the present by skimming the surface to detect every new form it takes, but it is also a surface that is seductive and dangerous and one that is easy to get lost in. Where the water is shallow it becomes transparent, colored by light and anything in the water. When it is shallow you can also see life and objects through the water, but the water refracts light, while the surface reflects light, distorting the object you see. Even shallower water, such as puddles in a city, collect oil, soak trash, smooths surfaces, and makes them shimmer; every surface begins to shine with light––sometimes barely perceptible, other times blindingly.
The work pictured was displayed in Vienna at Franz Josef Kai 3 in June 2014.
Work In Progress. Photographs are from all over Philadelphia, though concentrated near where I have resided over the years (which include West, South, and North Philly).
I am uncertain. I try to be certain, but it is hard to be certain in an unfamiliar place. I don’t have the perspective to place everything in the scene, to see intended meaning. I remember Istanbul, but it is changing so rapidly, what I remember probably won’t matter, what I do remember will shift.
And what I photographed will shift. It will exist in a different part of the city, or it won’t exist for a year before returning. Or it will stay in the same spot every day. Maybe it will be torn down every night and reconstructed somewhere else. I could find my way using these images, but every time the route would be different.
Great American Novel
This is an ongoing repository of images that is loosely based on an ongoing selection of American literature that started with Melville’s Moby Dick and Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. Other influences are ongoing as I try to work to the present.
Joan of Arc
Church On Tuesday
Early work documenting churches on days when few parishioners were present (ie any day but Sunday). I was interested in how the spaces of the church reflected spirituality and a search for the sublime in the everyday.
Ongoing. Floating downstream, slowly developing, always differently. Paper was coated with cyanotype solution, folded into paper boats, and floated downstream. Every individual trip is different; some boats sink immediately in a rough current, and others make it all the way downstream. Each unfolded piece is a record of this unique trip downstream.
Continuing work involving provisional camera obscuras.
Sardines, published by Blue Tiger in 2018.
There are plenty of fish in the sea… We are packed in like sardines…
Dialectics of Seeing, published 2018 by Blue Tiger, is a collaboration between Mohammadreza Mirzaei and myself. The title comes from Susan Buck-Morss’s book of the same name. For more information or to purchase a copy, visit the Blue Tiger website.
A Heap, self-published in 2015, is a book that explores the relation between images and language, especially through the work of Robert Smithson and Caroline Bergvall.
The second edition is sold out, but you can order a print on demand version via Lulu (here).
Groundwork, self published in 2010, documents small sustainable farms in central Virginia between 2008-10.
Groundwork Book Preview
Animation originally exhibited at the 2017 20/92 Film Festival.