Ridgemont Typologies Artist Statement (view the work here)
The typological array’s inherent ability to depict prevalence and repetition make it the perfect technique for examining the excess, redundancy, and meaningless freedom of our current age of consumption. Part of my intent with this work is to answer the question implied by the title of Robert Adams’s book What We Bought: If there is some kind of big sellout occuring, what are we getting in the deal?
The typological form acheives an uncanny synergy and resonance with this subject matter because it mimics the mental images I suspect many of us form as a way ordering the chaos of abundance that surrounds us. We can’t help but form in our heads lists, groups and categories based on product, brand, price point, style, market segment, country of origin, etc.
To be confronted by one of these groups turned into images lined up together can be unnerving, hough. We are presented with order, and while it is often an absurd, seemingly pointless order, it is one that we recognize immediately.
40 Monuments to Progress Artist Statement (view the work here)
This work began as an examination of that unintended sculptural expression of our need for bandwidth everywhere, the cell phone tower. While many cell phone users are surely comforted by the sight of a new cell phone tower by the side of the road, to me they are quite menacing in their visual attitude.
My attention focussed on the visual noise of infrastructure, I soon found many other subjects possessing a sculptural presence that could be captured in photographs. I began seeing poles, boxes, pedestals, mysterious little monoliths and manholes everywhere: along streets and highways, in parks and playgrounds, in parking lots, etc., usually just outside the margins of the visual field intended for us as passersby on foot or in a car.
In them I found rich formal variety and subtlety, and distinct character- sometimes humorous, sometimes foreboding- revealed in their photographs. Many are characterized by a sort of conflicted awkwardness resulting from the contradictory ways they must inhabit the landscape and serve their purposes: they must blend into the landscape discreetly while still being accessible and provide access while still being secure against vandals, the elements, and unauthorized use. Many of these subjects do bear a strong resemblance to actual monuments like roadside historical markers or gravestones, and as a group, they establish a formal vocabulary (repetition of forms and materials, heirarchies of scale and complexity, etc.) as varied and specific as that of actual monuments. And while those actual monuments are typically the sculptural expression of some tribute, remembrance, or commemoration, my monuments, as the physical evidence of their functions, are, intended or not, sculptural expressions of those functions, and what I choose to see as monuments to them.
While these monuments might symbolize to me a progress I am at best stoic about, for many these objects and their proliferation might themselves personify progress, be, in a sense, a currency of progress. ‘Progress’ is for me a relevant and effective common conceptual denominator for this work, and a concept open-ended enough to both transmit and receive irony.