Process (scroll down)
"I haven't always understood where my work was going, but I've understood when I've been on the right path, even when the path has been dark."
I consider what I do research, but documented in an alternative way than how scientists document research. I'm fascinated with the ability to change behavior patterns and how to exert control over one's actions, no matter what one has experienced in life. The brain and how it creates and influences change is a mysterious gift for us to explore. Do synapse connectors run a different route, do they move faster, brighter, etc. with change in behavior? I have so much more to learn about the brain sciences and look forward to incorporating the sciences as my work develops. Process is everything for my art, as it reveals the deep workings of the behavior patterns that my work creates discussion around.
We form our behavior patterns from the patterns we are exposed to.
Poor behavior patterns are often the root of emotional challenges, miscommunications, poor social skills, insecurities and a general misunderstanding of how and what the world is. My process revolves around understanding my own personal patterns in order to honor the patterns in my life that are working and change those that are not. My earlier devastating behavior patterns were formed in reaction to emotional and physical abuse, a much-too-young sexualization, having to live without being able to expect that my raw needs for love, food and a clean environment would be met, and ongoing negligence at all stages.
The patterns ingrained when we were one or two years old are a lot harder to understand and rebuild than the patterns that might have developed only a few years ago. Unless we've experienced serious recent trauma, we're most likely reacting from a pattern in our young pasts. The way we deal with trauma is also based from the foundation we're working with in our patterns.
I learned, while reflecting over what I had experienced on my last tour exploring emotional isolation, that I had never learned to trust and this was damaging my ability to feel secure in my relationships. Amidst the instability of my youth, I never developed a full understanding of what it was to trust another person. In order to live in happiness, I had to break this mold and learn to trust: trust myself, trust my partners, trust my friends, trust the people I choose to let in my life, trust my employers and employees, and trust in Gd or Universe. It was the process of focusing heavily on why I wasn't connecting with people through performance that allowed me to come to the above realization and to then deliberately and mindfully change my own pattern. Quite often, my work pulls me down a path that leads to deep change. A lot of time its absolutely humiliating and painful to engage in this progress publicly, but I believe that openness helps push my progress further, and helps my audience to understand the process so they can engage in a similar behavioral change, but in private. I hope to give my audience the freedom to change in a way that works best for each individual, while taking on the humiliation so that they don't have to.
So, how is it that my work manifests?
The artwork is typically a documentation of an experience, a meditative tool to help me consider and contemplate experiences or patterns, or a form of communication to teach. I create experiences that help me explore the specific behavior pattern I've selected to work with. People often consider what I do as a type of social experimentation. Because I'm a conceptual artist, I'm unrestricted by medium. I use whatever is available to me, conceptually makes the most sense, or will communicate my concepts easily and most effectively to my audience. I've used recycled paper to express the concept of recycled behavior patterns, photography to capture moments of community, bonding, and collaboration, performance to directly face the community, and social media to engage in accountability.
Sometimes, experimenting with a medium is what brings me to the behavior pattern I'll be working with next, like the recycled paper did. I have often felt like I was being lead spiritually rather than leading the way. The twists and turns my work has taken has seemed so much out of my control but very directed. I haven't always understood where my work was going, but I've understood when I've been on the right path, even when the path has been dark.