Assumption, hypothesis, and supposition drive human existence. We beautifully craft our reality by contending with extremes and often do so in a human and inexact way. I orchestrate this ideal with pieces that stray between ironic function and complete futility, often predicated on the collusion of biology with a technologically driven society. My sculptures, installations, and drawing idolize the concept of fuzzy logic. Based on the computational term that refers to degrees of truth rather than exactness, my work plays with the idea of absurdity as a driving force of life.
Since graduating from FSU, my existence has effectively looked like a B-rated version of American Hustle. It has gone so fast, and it has been beautifully gritty. Shortly after graduation, I was hired as an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Initially, I was hired to teach foundation classes and Sculpture, but over the last three years I have created new curriculum including Installation, Performance, and Bio-art. I have absolutely loved bringing these things to a teeny-tiny Oklahoma town. At this point, my classes essentially look like the endnotes of Dave Hickey’s Air Guitar. I work with a lot of very enthusiastic, amazing students.
Other than my teaching, I have exhibited as much as possible. Some of the exhibitions have been solo shows in Lubbock, Texas, Gulfport, Florida, and even some participation in the International Symposium of Electronic Arts in Dubai. I get overly excited about research and have also been fortunate enough to be the recipient of awards and grants to further experimental work, including The Regents Scholarly Activities and Research Award, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition Creative Projects Grant, the United Arts of Florida Grant, as well as many more. Right now, I’m working on sculptures with embedded videos that deal with subjects such as placebo effects in technology. These will later be exhibited at an upcoming show in Oklahoma City, Operating Costs, and later at the New Media Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In sum, I’m a completely exuberant nerd addicted to the mad science of making.
I learned a lot at FSU, but mostly who I was as an artist and arguably even as a person. Exploration was strongly encouraged, and for me it worked. I came in as painting and drawing, and left as a much happier kinetic sculptor/performance artist. The value of critiques was heavily emphasized while I was there, and I really enjoyed that aspect. You learn to become very honest with yourself about your work.
The advice I would give to art students is soak it up and be brave. It’s astounding how many times the echo of something a professor at FSU said to me pops up to this day, whether in my teaching or when I am working on my art. Additionally, I think learning to push yourself in school, where you have readily available access to feedback, greatly helps once you leave. I’m constantly exploring new ideas or trying to improve on techniques. Lastly, I would say, “mean it.” Sincerity speaks to people and can really drive your work. I get so amped up about my art that I literally NEED to finish it. Be brave, be honest, be genuine.